The White Sox placed left-hander Carlos Rodon on the 10-day disabled list with left shoulder inflammation, the team announced Friday. Rodon was scratched from his scheduled start on Thursday after experiencing left shoulder stiffness and underwent an MRI prior to Friday’s game. He’s not expected to return before the end of the regular season, but should be in line to rejoin the team by spring.
Rodon, 24, tossed just 69 1/3 innings during his third campaign with the White Sox. He saw his season severely shortened by a 90-day case of bursitis in his left biceps and finished his 2017 run with a 4.15 ERA, 4.0 BB/9 and 9.9 SO/9 over 12 starts. He’ll undergo additional tests next week, which should give the White Sox a clearer timetable for his return.
In the meantime, the club bolstered their pitching staff with right-handers Chris Volstad and Al Alburquerque, whose contracts were purchased from Triple-A Charlotte following Friday’s news. Manager Rick Renteria told reporters that he plans on keeping Volstad’s role flexible, as the 30-year-old has experience in the rotation and bullpen. The veteran righty is returning to the big leagues after a two-year hiatus and carries a 5.57 ERA, 1.8 BB/9 and 5.4 SO/9 over 118 innings in Triple-A this year.
Bob Klapisch of The New York Times reports that free agent starter Gerrit Cole has a seven-year, $245 million contract offer on the table from the Yankees. As Klapisch also notes, the deal would set a record for total value and average annual value for a pitcher, besting Zack Greinke‘s $34.4 million AAV and David Price‘s $217 million total.
While it is possible that Cole signs before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday, clients of Scott Boras have tended to sign later in the offseason, so this may be a protracted process with today’s report as a jumping-off point. Both the Yankees’ and Angels’ front offices have received clearance from ownership to break the bank to sign Cole.
Cole, 29, could not have timed having a career year any better. During the regular season, he led all of baseball with 326 strikeouts and led the American League with a 2.50 ERA while also posting a 20-5 record and walking only 48 batters across 212 1/3 innings. He performed brilliantly in the playoffs as well, holding the opposition to seven runs on 21 hits and 11 walks with 47 strikeouts over 36 2/3 innings of work as the Astros narrowly missed out on winning another championship.
Cole is entering his age-29 season, so a deal of at least seven years would take him well into his mid-30’s. Teams, especially lately, have been hesitant to commit to pitchers, but as the Nationals showed with Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin, sometimes it leads to a championship.
For what it’s worth, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports says the Yankees haven’t made a formal offer to Cole yet, though the club plans to make one this week. During this time of year, both sides — front office personnel and player agents — leak details to the press to help establish leverage. What we can generally take from this is that the Yankees are hot for Cole and he’s going to get a record-setting contract from some team, even if it’s not the Yankees.