Carlos Rodon had the best year of his career in 2021, albeit one dragged down by shoulder issues in the second half. It was probably good enough to land the All-Star left-hander a significant multiyear contract on the free agent market.
The Sox don’t have to say whether they’ll offer Rodon a qualifying offer until Sunday. They are expected to pick up reliever Craig Kimbrel’s option for 2022 and will likely decline the option on second baseman Cesar Hernandez, a pair of trade deadline acquisitions that Hahn and most observers believe strengthened the Sox’ grip on a World Series pursuit but did not pan out. Those decisions will be made official Saturday.
“Carlos, as a free agent, there’s only so much I’m allowed to say but I can certainly praise how fantastic he was for us over the bulk of the season and that it would be great to figure out a way to bring him back in some capacity,” general manager Rick Hahn said.
Rodon, who is represented by agent Scott Boras, “is coming in from a much better position” than a year ago when the Sox gave him a one-year, $3 million deal, Hahn acknowledged.
“We’ll see how the market unfolds,” Hahn said.
Strength coach Allen Thomas let go
The contract of strength and conditioning coordinator Allen Thomas is not being renewed as the Sox “re-image” that department, Hahn said. Thomas was in his 18th season, one in which the Sox were riddled by injuries.
“Availability’s a big part of winning, and it’s important for us to find a way to maximize their availability,” Hahn said. “Sometimes stuff just happens. We realize that. But we want to make sure we’re doing everything within our power to keep guys healthy, keep them on the field and keep them productive. Which, again, has led us to reexamining what we’re doing int hat area.”
Hahn confirmed what manager Tony La Russa said earlier this week that the entire coaching staff will return.
Vaughn, Sheets possibilities in RF
With free agents such as Nick Castellanos on the market, right field is an area where an upgrade is possible, but internal options such as Andrew Vaughn and Gavin Sheets are in play. Both are converted first baseman, with Sheets hitting a needed left-handed bat to balance the lineup.
“We feel very bullish on the futures of Andrew Vaughn and Gavin Sheets,” Hahn said. “We envision them play significant roles on multiple White Sox clubs going forward.”
Hahn said both are also DH possibilities and afford flexibility as natural first basemen and that it was too soon to determine specific roles in 2022.
Outfielder Brian Goodwin, right-handers Evan Marshall and Jimmy Cordero and left-hander Jace Fry were outrighted to Triple-A Charlotte. The team also purchased the contract of left-hander Anderson Severino from Charlotte.
The moves drop the 40-man roster to 34. Cordero, Fry, Goodwin and Marshall will become free agents.
Right-hander Lance Lynn (knee) is in the midst of a 3-4 week rest and rehab period and will be evaluated soon. Adam Engel had cleanup surgery on his left shoulder after the season.