Two years and about two weeks ago -- Dec. 2, 2020 -- the deadline for teams to tender a contract offer to pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players was at hand. The Chicago White Sox did not tender an offer to Carlos Rodon, a pitcher they selected with the third pick of the 2014 draft. Rodon eventually re-signed with Chicago but not until Feb. 1, 2021, not long before that season's spring training was set to begin.
You want to know how long it takes for an injury-riddled player to build up long-term value? The answer appears to be two years, at least for pitchers. All it takes are two straight healthy, All-Star seasons for two different teams in two different leagues.
Rodon's non-tender journey came on the heels of the latest in a long string of arm-related maladies that seemed to have thrown his career irretrievably off track. In a 2020 season that wasn't very long to begin with, Rodon had shoulder problems and made just four appearances and posted an 8.22 ERA. Then he made a postseason appearance against Oakland, allowing two runs while failing to retire any of the three batters he faced.
Then, for an eternity in the life of a baseball free agent, nobody wanted him. Well, look at him now.