Carlos Rodón is one of the top free-agent pitchers left on the market, but at least one team has been deterred from paying the hefty price tag for the veteran.
The St. Louis Cardinals are unlikely to "shell out the years and money" that Rodón is seeking on his next deal, according to The Athletic's Katie Woo.
Rodón is seeking a deal in the range of seven-plus years and worth at least $200 million, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported on Dec. 12. It's not surprising the Cardinals are hesitant to cough up that much cash.
St. Louis has never signed a player for that kind of money. While Nolan Arenado is the highest-paid player on the roster, he signed his eight-year, $260 million deal when he was still a member of the Colorado Rockies.
Paul Goldschmidt's $130 million extension signed in March 2019 is the largest the franchise has ever handed out. Adam Wainwright's $97.5 million extension signed in March 2013 is the largest the Cards have ever dished out to a pitcher.
Further, the Cardinals are set to have a 2023 rotation that includes Wainwright, Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty, Jordan Montgomery and Matthew Liberatore. While Rodón would undoubtedly improve the rotation, he's not a necessity.
Additionally, not many pitchers have earned $200 million or more on a single contract. Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, David Price, Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and Zack Greinke are the only arms to hit the $200 million mark in their careers.
Rodón has been impressive in each of the last two seasons, but he doesn't match up with some of those elite pitchers.
The 30-year-old spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Chicago White Sox. He didn't break out until the 2021 campaign, when he went 13-5 with a 2.37 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 185 strikeouts in 132.2 innings across 24 starts en route to his first All-Star Game selection.
Rodón went on to sign with the San Francisco Giants ahead of the 2022 campaign. He went 14-8 with a 2.88 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 237 strikeouts in 178 innings across 31 starts, earning his second straight All-Star Game selection.
The lefty has also topped more than 170 innings in a season just once—2022—and has been limited by injuries for much of his career.
If Rodón's price drops, then the Cardinals would likely continue to express interest. For now, it seems like pursuing him has been put on the backburner.