The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms with left-handed pitcher Carlos Rodon, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft out of North Carolina State, per Jeff Gravley of WRAL TV in North Carolina. Rodon will receive a bonus of over $6.45 million, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Per Gravley, Rodon was headed to Chicago on Wednesday to sign the contract, which will also be subject to a physical.
Rodon, listed at 6'3, 234 pounds, was 6-7 with a 2.01 ERA in 17 starts in his junior season with the Wolfpack, with 117 strikeouts and 31 walks in 98⅔ innings.
"The worst-case scenario for Rodon is a potential closer, but he’s a potential frontline starter with some refinement," wrote the staff at Baseball America. "His slider remains the best pitch in the draft for most scouts, sitting 85-87 mph and scraping 89 at its best with two-plane depth. Multiple scouts have given Rodon’s slider 80 grades on the 20-80 scale when it is on, though some say he relies on the slider too much."
The allotted slot amount for Rodon was $5,721,500, though the White Sox have some wiggle room thanks to some reduced bonuses for some of their picks in the first 10 rounds. The White Sox had $9,509,700 to spend on their draft pool, which counts all bonuses for picks in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus amount over $100,000 for picks in the 11th round or later. Per Baseball America, Chicago spent $3,402,600 on its nine picks in rounds two through 10, giving the team $6,107,100 to spend on Rodon.
The system allows teams to spend over their allotted amounts, with a 75 percent tax on any overage, but once the total bonuses add up to five percent over, the penalties become progressively more punitive, beginning with the loss of a first round pick in 2015. The White Sox can go as high as $9,985,184 without costing themselves a draft pick, giving them roughly $6,582,584 to spend on Rodon.
The bonus for Rodon will either be the highest or second-highest bonus in the 2014 draft. No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken reportedly agreed to a $6.5 million bonus with the Astros, but elbow trouble discovered after the draft has Houston wanting to discount their commitment.
With Rodon agreeing to terms, there are only two first-round picks yet to sign: left-handed pitcher Sean Newcomb, the No. 15 overall pick by the Angels, and right-handed pitcher Erick Fedde, who went No. 18 overall to the Nationals. The deadline to sign 2014 draft picks is Friday, July 18.