Giants starter Carlos Rodon has opted out of his contract and entered free agency, per Maria Guardado of MLB.com. Rodon had a player option for $22.5MM in 2023, but given his exceptional performance this year, it’s no surprise he’s chosen to enter the open market.
Rodon turned in 178 innings of 2.88 ERA ball in 2022, proving the decision to take a shorter deal last winter and bet on himself was the correct one. He’ll now enter free agency as one of the top players available, and should cash in with a long term deal. After an injury-plagued career, Rodon was strong for the White Sox in 2021, throwing 132 2/3 innings of 2.37 ERA ball. Given he’d only been able to make 41 starts in the previous four seasons, there was still some hesitancy of his durability, and he inked a short term deal with the Giants. That deal guaranteed him $21.5MM in 2022 and $22.5MM in 2023, with the ability to opt-out included if he pitched 110 innings in ’22. He passed that mark with ease, and it seemed inevitable he’d exercise the opt-out and test free agency, as he did today.
The 2014 third overall pick was utterly dominant in 2022. He struck out batters 33.4% of the time, walked just 7.3% of batters, and posted the best home run rate of his career, giving up just 12 all year. Durability was one of the biggest concerns over Rodon, but he only hit the injured list once all season, and that was due to an illness that forced him to miss his final start of the campaign, and the Giants only placed him on the IL to free up an active roster spot.
He’ll enter the market as one of the most sought-after arms available. The Giants will assuredly issue him a qualifying offer in the coming days which he’ll certainly decline. The Giants could well be one of the teams pushing to sign him, but should they lose him, they’ll at least receive some draft pick compensation.