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Is Rodón's Giants tenure over after missing last start?

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SAN DIEGO -- Carlos Rodón became a Giant because most of the industry had concerns about his health last offseason, but he avoided the IL through the first 160 games of his first -- and likely only -- season in orange and black. That streak came to an end Tuesday afternoon, but not because of elbow or shoulder issues. 

Rodón was placed on the IL just before the start of Tuesday's game, but by then it was already known that his season was over. Manager Gabe Kapler said in the afternoon that Rodón wasn't feeling well and would be replaced by Alex Cobb, who preferred to start on three days of rest rather than make his last start of the year on the final day of the season.

The Giants did not include any injury with the roster move, which generally over the last three years has meant a player is dealing with a COVID situation. 

"We've been having a little cold that's going around our clubhouse," Kapler said earlier in the day. "He came in today not feeling good."

No matter how it happened, Rodón was not going to make his final start of the year. His agent, Scott Boras, told the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday that the preference was for Rodón to shut it down after 31 starts. The next move for the left-handed ace will be an obvious one.

 

The Giants gave Rodón a two-year deal with an opt-out clause after one year, and Rodón will exercise it. He will hit the open market and could command the largest overall deal for a starting pitcher this offseason, one that should make him a member of the $100 million club. 

Rodón could become the second consecutive co-ace for Logan Webb to bolt for a huge deal elsewhere, joining Kevin Gausman, who signed with the Toronto Blue Jays for $110 million last winter. The Giants never made a serious push to re-sign Gausman, but they're in a different situation this time around. 

The Giants know they'll need to have a huge offseason, not just to get back into contention but to win back a fan base that stopped showing up at Oracle Park in the second half. Rodón was the team's best player, posting a 2.88 ERA and finishing second in the NL with 237 strikeouts, but Farhan Zaidi would have to go well out of his comfort zone to bring him back. 

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The Giants will have a month to figure out what exactly they want to do. On Tuesday, Kapler called Rodón's season an "A-plus" because of the dominance and durability.

"Last year we had a top-of-the-rotation starter in Kevin Gausman and it was really nice to have that guy. Every fifth day you depended on his ability to take you deep into games, and I think the same could be said for Carlos," Kapler said.

"Certainly the same could be said for Logan Webb. Those types of starters are huge for an organization. I feel pretty confident that we're going to be out looking for the best possible starting rotation and I would say that everything is always on the table."

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