The San Francisco Giants didn’t wait long to start making moves again on the free agency market. Less than 24 hours after MLB’s lockout was lifted, the Giants became the first team to make a big splash in free agency, agreeing to a two-year, $44 million deal, which includes an option, with left-handed starting pitcher Carlos Rodón.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported the finalized deal, after the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser first reported that something was in the works.
Left-handed starter Carlos Rodón and the San Francisco Giants are in agreement on a two-year, $44 million contract that includes an opt-out after the first season, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 11, 2022
Per Slusser, the deal pays Rodón a little bit less in the first year, with a player option for the second year.
Rodón will get $21.5 mill this season, $22.5 mill next year, I’m told, with another opt out after this year. Very nice move by the Giants to get a frontline starter to complete the rotation.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) March 11, 2022
Rodón was one of, if not the top starting pitcher left on the market. Fangraphs ranked him as the No. 17 free agent at the start of the offseason, with the 9th-highest projected WAR for 2022.
In other words, the Giants are getting a good one, and the numbers back that up. Rodón, who only turned 29 during the lockout, is coming off of a career year. After posting a 4.14 ERA and 4.26 FIP in his first six seasons, the lefty exploded in 2021 with a 2.37 ERA, a 2.65 FIP, and 185 strikeouts to just 36 walks in 132.2 innings. Had his 2019 and 2020 not been injury-riddled strugglefests, Rodón would probably be staring down the barrel of a contract deep into six figures.
Instead, the Giants are able to get him for a relatively modest $44 million. And the two years on the deal is extra nice, as it was presumed that Rodón might take a single-year deal with a high AAV, and then cash in next offseason. Which certainly could still happen, given the option.
With the addition of Rodón — who was 8th in the Majors in pitcher fWAR last year, despite only appearing in 24 games — the Giants now have a filled out rotation of Rodón, Logan Webb, Alex Wood, Anthony DeSclafani, and Alex Cobb. That is a very formidable rotation, and all five players are signed through 2023 as well, though, again, that includes Rodón’s option.
Way to go, Giants. And welcome aboard, Carlos.
San Francisco will be just the second professional home for Rodón, who finished fifth in AL Cy Young voting last year. He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2011, and had spent his entire career with the organization.