The Red Sox are among several teams rumored to be interested in signing free-agent left-hander Carlos Rodon, according to the Daily Herald’s Scot Gregor.
Per Gregor, the Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, and Mariners all have interest in Rodon, who spent the first seven years of his major-league career with the White Sox.
After getting non-tendered at the conclusion of the compressed 2020 campaign, Rodon re-upped with the South Siders on a one-year, $3 million contract for 2021 and made the most out of that pact.
Across 24 starts this past season, the 29-year-old posted a career-best 2.37 ERA and 2.65 FIP to go along with 185 strikeouts to 36 walks over 132 2/3 innings of work.
Despite being named to his first All-Star team and finishing sixth in American League Cy Young voting this year, Rodon did deal with his fair share of injury troubles.
Coming out of the All-Star break in July, the veteran southpaw was limited to just nine starts spanning 43 innings through the end of the regular season. He spent a little more than two weeks on the injured list in August due to left shoulder soreness and fatigue and was used just once in the American League Division Series against the Astros in October.
Perhaps taking the time he missed into consideration, the White Sox did not extend Rodon a one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer, meaning any interested team would not have to forfeit a draft pick if they were to sign the lefty in free agency.
That being said, the level of interest the Red Sox — or any other team, for that matter — have in Rodon is unclear on account of Major League Baseball’s lockout, which prevents clubs from speaking with free agents.
A former first-round pick of Chicago coming out of North Carolina State University in the 2014 draft, Rodon operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a four-seam fastball, a nasty slider, a changeup, and a curveball.
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound hurler is represented by the Boras Corporation and is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to receive a one-year, $25 million deal in free agency once MLB’s transaction freeze is lifted.
Since the off-season began, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. have been very involved in the starting pitching marker. In the wake of losing Eduardo Rodriguez to the Tigers, Boston has added veteran starters such as Michael Wacha, Rich Hill, and James Paxton.
Rodon, who just turned 29 on Friday, is younger than all three, but comes with his own concerns given his injury history that is highlighted by the fact that he did not receive a qualifying offer.
Still, the Red Sox have seemingly made it a point of emphasis to leave no stone unturned when it comes to improving their pitching staff. Rodon would be the youngest of the four starting pitchers Boston has acquired via free agency and has the most upside of the bunch.
There is risk involved, yes, but Rodon could prove to be a difference maker if healthy. It’s that simple.
(Picture of Carlos Rodon: Ron Vesely/Getty Images)