White Sox general manager Rick Hahn would not rule out the possibility of having first-round draft pick Carlos Rodon playing for the Sox by the end of the season, but he also kept his goals realistic.
"It's a possibility based on his ability (to see him in Chicago this season)," Hahn told reporters in a conference call Friday afternoon. "However, we've got to be cognitive of the long-term plan for this kid."
Hahn's long-term plan for Rodon, who agreed to a minor-league contract with a $6.5 million signing bonus, is to become a front-end starter.
"Carlos was our main target," Hahn said. "We feel he sits best with our plan to turn things around and get this thing on track quickly."
Rodon is scheduled to be in Chicago next Friday as he is introduced to the media. In the meantime, the third overall pick, who "hasn't thrown a pitch in anger" since May 16, will spend his time at the White Sox Class AA affiliate Winston-Salem. There he will join workouts to build back arm strength.
"After he comes to Chicago we'll assess where he's at and come up with a more specific plan for his activization at one of our affiliates in the not-too-distant future," Hahn added. "He'll begin his work in the minor leagues primarily out of the pen this season simply as a means of managing his workload and, again, building back his arm strength."
Although a jump to the majors this season appear far-fetched, a more distinct target date for Rodon's debut in the majors could be Spring Training in Arizona next March.
"Should he not wind up making his major league debut this season, then we'll assess where he's at in the off season about how much time it makes to bring him to big league camp," Hahn said. "For a guy who's likely on a quicker path, it certainly wouldn't be a surprise if he were in camp with us next year, regardless what happens the rest of this year."