The Chicago White Sox drafted the prospect likely to reach the big leagues first when they selected pitcher Carlos Rodon with the no. 3 overall pick. Now the chance of seeing Rodon with the White Sox in 2014 is a possibility, even if it is unlikely. The team signed Rodon to a deal on Thursday, a deal that includes the biggest bonus of the draft so far.
Rodon, a left-handed pitcher out of North Carolina State, was projected to be the no. 1 overall pick for much of the 2014 season after he decided to return to college for another year. His star lost some of its shine as the season wore on, as his workload added up and as he came across some struggles. He did not end up being the top pick, but the no. 3 pick is nothing to scoff at.
Jim Callis of MLB.com passes along the information on Rodon’s deal, including the bonus money that is heading Rodon’s way.
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) July 10, 2014
Once Rodon passes his team physical on Friday he will report to Class-A Salem. While an appearance in the big leagues this season is quite unlikely, Rodon is polished enough that he should rise through the ranks of Chicago’s system fairly quickly and possibly make his arrival in 2015. Even with that in mind, however, general manager Rick Hahn preached caution when discussing Rodon’s path to the White Sox (from Scott Merkin of MLB.com):
But even before reports of an agreement surfaced on Wednesday, Hahn cautioned that it was unfair to put extra expectations on the young hurler before they got him into the White Sox system and see where he stood. They need to start building up his arm again before assessing any sort of big league timeline.
Rodon’s pace to the big leagues might also be dictated by the state of the White Sox this season and next. If the the team finds itself in a position to make the playoffs, they might be more inclined to get Rodon up and in the bullpen. At this point the White Sox will just be happy that they signed him and gave themselves the options.