November 26, 2014
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Now that the White Sox have drafted Carlos Rodon, the next order of business is getting him signed.
That agent Scott Boras represents the No. 3 overall pick might have been cause for concern in years past. With a Boras relationship that has been less than great, the Sox probably have steered clear of his clients in the past, but the Rodon selection could bring everyone together.
The slot recommendation for the No. 3 pick is $5.7 million. It’s still early, so Rodon didn’t have much insight to offer when asked about the prospects of a deal getting done.
“I’m not really sure,’’ he said on a conference call with reporters Friday. “That’s later down the road. In a month or so, we’ll figure that out, but I’m still trying to enjoy this moment, spend time with my family and enjoy the whole thing and let it sink in.’’
The Sox could promise Rodon a quick climb to the majors in exchange for leniency on above-slot bonus demands. It’s known that Rodon doesn’t want to prolong the process of getting on the field.
When the Sox drafted Chris Sale 13th in 2010, he signed for less having an agreement that brought him to the majors two months later.
“I really don’t know [about that for me],’’ Rodon said. “That’s up to the organization. I’m just taking in the moment right now. I haven’t thought about those things. Just trying to figure out where everything is going to go.’’
Last summer, Rodon was viewed as the No. 1 pick. He said “surprise” was his first reaction to being drafted by the Sox. Perhaps he had held out hope that he’d go first to the Astros or second to the Marlins, both of whom took high school pitchers.
“Not . . . disappointed,’’ Rodon said. “I would say motivation. I got picked by a great club with a lot of history. I’m looking forward to it.
“Wherever you go in the draft, it’s an honor.’’
Rodon described his contact with the Sox as somewhat limited.
“We talked a little bit during the spring, not much,’’ he said. “Most [of my] interaction was watching them on TV and watching Jose Abreu hit some bombs; that’s about it.
“Yeah, it’s a great team. I think they have a postseason run in them this year if they keep playing well. . . . They have a good club.’’
It seems somewhat strange talking about college baseball’s top pitching prospect in terms of disappointment, but that’s what Rodon has experienced after blowing everybody away last summer. After all, he posted a 2.01 ERA his junior year and possesses a major-league-ready slider to go with a fastball that most observers believe will pick up a tick or two into the mid-90s range as he throws fewer sliders in the pros.
“My performance wasn’t . . . I didn’t live up to expectations, and I guess that happens sometimes,’’ he said. “Baseball is a tough sport. It’s a game of failure, so you fail more than you succeed. Tough game.
“Yeah, [the expectations could be] a little nerve-racking. That comes with the talent. The expectations come with all that when you’re a good player.’’
All parties concerned could do without Rodon’s negotiations getting difficult, but scouting director Doug Laumann, for one, was not overly concerned about Rodon’s signability.
“It’s our goal to get the most talented player available, and I think [general manager] Rick [Hahn] and Scott Boras have a fairly good relationship,’’ Laumann said Thursday. “We’re excited because, No. 1, we know how competitive this kid is and how important it is for him to be comfortable with an organization. We’re real confident we’re going to get him done. I’d be surprised if that doesn’t happen.’’