Max Scherzer’s monster deal with the New York Mets knocks another top name off the market when it comes to filling in for the Chicago White Sox losses following Carlos Rodon’s exit. Rodon posted a career year in 2021 with a 13-5 record across 24 starts. He also had 185 strikeouts, and 36 walks, including his near-perfect game against Cleveland.
Many questions have been asked since he departed from the Sox to test the free agency market. Michael Kopech, acquired in the Chris Sale trade, will be moving into the rotation alongside Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, and Dylan Cease.
The empty rotation slot (assuming it isn’t Dallas Keuchel) is a must fill for the club and the options are beginning to dwindle. Throughout the season, Tony La Russa used a sixth rotation slot as an off day for his big 4, filling in a short reliever in the early parts of the game, ultimately splitting up the workload across his bullpen, and allowing rest within the rotation.
Towards the end of the season, Reynaldo Lopez was often the extra starter. He was coming back and working back into his role with the club which worked out well for him. Lopez spent time in Charlotte and saw a short IL stint before being activated and recalled by the White Sox on July 16th.
Lopez saw time between the bullpen and rotation when he returned, pitching in 57.2 innings, hurling 55 strikeouts and 13 walks, with a combined 4-4 record in 20 appearances on the season. Rick Hahn remaining dormant will hurt the club in the long run.
The Chicago White Sox might want to act quickly if they’re going to add a free agent.
Unsure of the future for Craig Kimbrel and with a heavy back end of the bullpen featuring Kendall Graveman and Liam Hendriks, the future for the last rotation spot is grim and it’s becoming less and less optimal for the Sox to attempt signings, as a lot of the big names are off the list.