According to 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine, the Cubs plan to watch lefty Carlos Rodón throw this week as they continue to seek rotation depth. The former No. 3 overall pick by the White Sox in 2014, one spot ahead of Kyle Schwarber, Rodón was non-tendered in December after six injury-riddled seasons on the South Side. He could make a lot of sense for a Cubs team that may not be able to offer anything other than a minor league deal.
Even with pitchers making out well in a market that has been more robust than expected, Rodón is unlikely to command much in the way of guaranteed money. All things being equal, he might prefer to stay in Chicago as he seeks to rebuild his value ahead of 2022. And he can do just that if he’s able to stay healthy.
That’s a big if, no doubt, but it’s not as though the Cubs are willing to pay for additional certainty at this point. Rodón has only made nine starts and 11 total appearances over the last two seasons and his velocity has dipped alarmingly at various points, but his slider is a real weapon when it’s working. What’s more, his velo ticked up over 95 in two relief appearances, the first time he’d been that high since 2015.
All things considered, this is exactly the kind of move the Cubs need to be making. They have lost both lefty starters from last season and aren’t banking on both Brailyn Márquez and Justin Steele becoming regulars this year, so they could really use a veteran southpaw. Rather than being a full-time starter, he’d probably do best as a swingman or reliever because the velo would play up and his limited repertoire wouldn’t be exposed.
The Cubs are planning to get somewhat creative with the rotation anyway, basically throwing the kitchen sink at it to eat innings, so Rodón’s profile again makes sense. Even if the plan isn’t necessarily to compete in a meaningful way, a resurgent performance means he could be traded at the deadline.
More on this if and when it’s available.