3 big-time free agents the Cubs can sign after the MLB lockout ends

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Carlos Rodon / Chicago Cubs
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3 free agents the Cubs can still sign after the MLB lockout: #3 – Carlos Rodon

Left-hander Carlos Rodon is still unsigned and in need of a home. Frankly, I can understand why nobody has scooped him up – 2021 marked his first sustained dominant showing and there are lingering concerns over his health, as well. Personally, if a pitcher can tweak his mechanics and mow down hitters for the entirety of a big league season, that’s enough to convince me he’s turned a corner.

Like I said – the biggest detractor when it comes to Rodon is his health. In 2018, Rodon was placed on the 60-day IL for shoulder surgery, along with another 60-day stint in 2019 with elbow issues which required Tommy John surgery. Most recently in August, Rodon was placed on the 10-day IL with shoulder soreness which was considered “concerning” by White Sox manager Tony La Russa.

Despite getting shut down late in the year, Rodon had a career season on the mound this year. Earning a 5.0 WAR, that mark was accompanied by a 13-5 record and career-best 2.37 ERA and impressive 2.65 FIP. Rodon earned All-Star honors for the first time in his career and was a primary reason the White Sox were crowned AL Central Champions.

Given the injury history, it will be interesting to see what type of number Rodon is requesting this offseason. Rodon was not issued an $18.4 million qualifying offer which really begs the status of his health. The situation isn’t made any easier with Scott Boras as Rodon’s agent, but still, if the southpaw is healthy and ready to go, he could bring that badly needed velocity the Cubs’ rotation has lacked for awhile.