Carlos Rodón Agrees to Sign with the Yankees

Left-hander Carlos Rodón is in agreement with the New York Yankees on a six-year deal worth $162 million per Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

Rodón, 30, is one of the best pitchers in the sport and was the top free-agent pitcher remaining. With the way the free agent market has played out this offseason, it seemed Rodón was in line for an even bigger contract. This deal comes out to an average annual value of $27 million per year. This is much lower than the AAV in the contract signed by the two other top pitchers in free agency, Jacob deGrom and Justin Verlander. The rumored mutual interest between the Yankees and Rodón finally comes to fruition.

How Carlos Rodón Helps the Yankees

Owner Hal Steinbrenner has stated that his priority was to improve the team this off-season, not just re-sign Aaron Judge. So far, the team has re-signed Judge and Anthony Rizzo, signed free agent RHP Tommy Kahnle, and is now bringing in Rodón. In just two years, he went from DFA’d by the Chicago White Sox to 162 million dollar pitcher. While making a career-high 31 starts in 2022, Rodón put together the best season of his career. He posted a 2.88 ERA in 178 innings with a major-league-best 2.25 FIP and 12.0 K/9. After finishing 5th in the AL Cy Young voting in 2021, Rodón finished 6th in the NL Cy Young voting this past season. In his last two years combined, he has put up an outstanding 12.23 K/9 along with a 2.67 ERA and 2.42 FIP. His 11.1 fWAR ranks 3rd in all of baseball in the last two years (min. 300 IP).

Despite already being 30 years old, it looks like the peak of Carlos Rodón’s career is only getting started. He brings the Yankees a high upside yet is also a proven lefty starter. Coming into the winter, the team’s rotation was one with good depth but not a whole lot of upside. Rodón will pair up with Gerrit Cole to form arguably the best 1-2 punch of any rotation in the sport. According to YES reporter and analyst Jack Curry, the Yankees attempted to trade for Carlos Rodón at the deadline. They feel he has the toughness and ability to thrive in New York.

Arguably the Best Rotation in Baseball

The addition of Carlos Rodón not only deepens the Yankees’ rotation but also significantly raises its ceiling. The team expects to line up some order of Cole, Rodón, Luis Severino, Nestor Cortes, and Frankie Montas. Cortes posted a 2.47 ERA and 3.13 FIP in 2022 and might be the number 3 or 4 starter. Montas, whom the Yankees acquired at the deadline, put up a 4.05 ERA and 3.78 FIP in 2022 and profiles to be the team’s number 5 starter. With Domingo German and Clarke Schmidt serving as pitching depth, the team’s pitching staff could be as good as it’s ever been in 2023.

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Players mentioned:

Carlos Rodon, Jacob deGrom, Justin Verlander, Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, Tommy Kahnle, Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, Nestor Cortes, Frankie Montas, Domingo German, Clarke Schmidt