The Rangers are sure to be taking trade calls on veteran right-hander and team ace Lance Lynn this off-season, which means they’ll need to at least monitor the market for cheap, experienced replacements.
Enter former Chicago White Sox southpaw Carlos Rodon.
Like David Dahl, Rodon was a former first round pick by his organization, being selected in 2014 out of NC State University.
Rodon was a fast riser through Chicago’s farm system, bursting onto the scene as a rookie in 2015 with a 3.75 ERA and 139 strikeouts across 23 starts and 139 innings pitched. His 3.87 FIP and 104 ERA+ that season indicated that he was an above average starter as a rookie!
As expected, Rodon regressed slightly in 2016, pitching to a 4.04 ERA, 4.01 FIP and a 100 ERA+, indicating he was exactly a league average hurler that season.
Rodon stayed consistent in 2017 and 2018, pitching to a 4.15 and 4.18 ERA in those seasons, respectively.
Succumbing to various injuries the last two seasons, Rodon combined for just nine starts between 2019 and 2020.
As the White Sox are looking to contend in 2021, they can’t afford to take a chance on a Rodon bounce back. The Rangers can, however.
Rodon was set to make about $5 million in arbitration this winter, a reasonable figure for a left-hander with a decent track record as an MLB starter.
Like Dahl, injuries do remain a concern with Rodon. That said, Rodon could still make plenty of sense as a low cost rotation option for 2021 whether Texas trades Lance Lynn or not.