Con #1 – Major injury concerns with Carlos Rodon
The tricky part about investing in any starting pitcher is their risk for injury. Even the “healthiest” of starting pitchers tend to deal with ailments, and most have one or more significant injuries in their career. But there are some starters that carry more injury risk than others, and Rodon is one of them.
Before 2022, Rodon had thrown 160 innings just once in his career, and has been subject to multiple smaller and more significant injuries through the course of his 8-year career. Rodon just turned 30-years old, and giving him a lucrative, long-term deal carries a ton of risk.
Last off-season was evidence of this, as coming off a Cy Young worthy season and being just 29-years old, Rodon could only secure a 2-year, $44 million deal with the Giants with an opt-out built in. Although Rodon was able to repeat his success from the year before and throw more innings, every club still knows how much risky you will be carrying with this kind of contract.
An interesting comparison to consider is Washington Nationals’ starter Stephen Strasburg, who after battling injuries throughout his early career, put together an elite run for the Nationals and earned himself a 7-year, $245 million deal with the Nationals after the 2019 season. Since then, Strasburg has thrown just 31.1 innings and is one of the worst contracts in baseball.
This is not to say that Rodon would become that, but his shaky injury history makes that a very real possibility for the ace. Although he won’t sign for quite as much as Strasburg did, his deal will be in the ballpark of that, which we’ll look at here in a bit.