Roughly eight or nine teams are known to have interest in Carlos Rodon, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post (Twitter links). Many of the suitors are already known, as past reports have indicated the Mets, Yankees, Giants, Twins, Dodgers, and Rangers have all checked in on Rodon’s market at different points this offseason. However, Heyman also lists the Orioles as a new name in the mix for the left-hander’s services.
Baltimore has already made one notable rotation move in signing Kyle Gibson to a one-year deal earlier today. Needless to say, signing Rodon would take a much heftier financial commitment, and the first major acquisition of the Orioles’ post-rebuild era. Though past reports suggested that the O’s were wary of shopping at the very top of the pitching market, Rodon might represent something of a bridge between the “top tier” and “secondary tier,” depending on how one would define such players.
Entering his age-30 season, Rodon is considerably younger than either Justin Verlander or Jacob deGrom, so Rodon might make more sense for a young Baltimore team that appears to be just entering its competitive window. As Orioles GM Mike Elias noted last month, the club has “got a lot of interesting starters. But they’re not guys who have a track record of being front-end-of-the-rotation starters.”
Baltimore hopes at least one or two of their young arms can eventually develop into being ace-level pitchers, but waiting on that development might not be too helpful for a team that wants to win in 2023. Gibson has had some quality seasons and was an All-Star just in 2021, but he struggled in his time with the Phillies, and he is more of a veteran innings-eater than a true frontline pitcher.
In other Rodon news, Heyman writes that Texas is still in on the southpaw even after already signing deGrom to a five-year, $185MM deal yesterday. As expected, the Rangers have put a heavy emphasis on rotation upgrades this winter, between signing deGrom, re-signing Martin Perez, and acquiring Jake Odorizzi from the Braves. That trio joins Jon Gray and Dane Dunning in the projected starting five, but the Rangers have been so aggressive over the last two offseasons that it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see them also sign Rodon. In this case, one of Dunning or Odorizzi could become a depth starter or swingman, or potentially even a trade chip.
Both the Mets and Yankees have been linked to Rodon and Verlander, with Heyman tweeting that the two New York teams seem to have differing top choices. Rodon seems to be the Yankees’ chief target, while Verlander seems like the Mets’ preferred option.
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