BOSTON -- Carlos Rodon, the White Sox top pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft and third pick overall, has signed with the club, the club announced Friday. The deal is for a franchise-record $6,582,000 bonus, according to MLB.com's Jim Callis.
Rodon, 21, was considered the most Major League ready of the hurlers in this past Draft class, to the point that he could follow the Chris Sale path from 2010 in going from the Draft to the White Sox bullpen in the same season. Rodon has not pitched since his final start with North Carolina State on May 16, so it might be too late for him to reach the Majors in 2014.
But even before talk of Rodon signing came about, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn cautioned that it was unfair to put extra expectations on the young hurler before getting him into the White Sox system and see where he stands. The White Sox need to see Rodon start building up his arm again before assessing any sort of big league timeline.
The recommended bonus slot for Rodon's No. 3 pick was $5,721,500. Rodon finished 25-10 with a 2.24 ERA, eight complete games, 436 strikeouts over 345 2/3 innings and a .201 opponents' average over his three-year career at N.C. State. He is looked at as a strong rotation candidate to join Sale, Jose Quintana and John Danks in 2015, giving the White Sox four southpaws.
Rodon's $6,582,000 bonus is second highest under new MLB Draft rules, trailing only Kris Bryant at $6,708,400, and the third highest for a pitcher in Draft history behind Gerrit Cole ($8 million) and Stephen Strasburg ($7.5 million). The old Draft bonus record for the White Sox belonged to Joe Borchard at $5.3 million in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.