The White Sox did not make a $18.4 million qualifying offer to left-hander Carlos Rodon Sunday, allowing the first-time All-Star to enter free agency.
Sox general manager Rick Hahn on Friday said he hoped there would be a way for the Sox and Rodon, who posted a 2.37 ERA and no-hit the Cleveland Indians in the best season of his career but faded in the second half due to shoulder fatigue, to get together on deal that would bring Rodon back. The $18.4 million price for one season was too steep for a pitcher with Rodon’s health history, and the Sox’ decision was not unexpected.
“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,” Hahn said Friday.
If Rodon goes elsewhere, Michael Kopech, who is expected to join the starting rotation in 2022, could fill his spot, joining Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease and Dallas Keuchel. Hahn said Kopech’s innings will be monitored in 2022, so his move to the rotation and a potential exit by Rodon doesn’t mean the Sox won’t need to add starting pitching in the offseason.
Rodon, who was dominant in the first half, lasted 2 2⁄3 innings in Game 4 of the ALDS against the Astros in the ALDS, facing 14 batters and allowing two runs on three hits in the Astros’ series clinching victory. The Astros won the series in four games.
Had the Sox extended a qualifying offer to Rodon, they would have received draft pick compensation if he rejected it an signed elsewhere.
In seven seasons with the Sox, who drafted Rodon third overall in 2014, Rodon has pitched to a 3.79 ERA.