The New York Yankees have an opportunity to build one of the strongest starting rotations in baseball alongside a Mets team across town that just dropped a significant amount of salary space to add pitchers to their rotation.
The Mets signed Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, and Jose Quintana, but that is mainly because the majority of their starters hit free agency. The only player the Yankees lost to FA was Jameson Taillon, and replacing him with Rodon would be a significant boost.
Rodon, whose agent is none other than Scott Boras, is looking for a 6+ year deal, which is unlikely given the longevity issues he faced in the past. He pitched a career-high 178 total innings this past season, but after stringing together two consecutive years with 130+ innings, there’s optimism his injury issues are behind him.
General manager Brian Cashman has been given the green light to pursue Rodon since owner Hal Steinbrenner promised Aaron Judge they would continue adding pieces to create a World Series contender.
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Reports have indicated that the Yankees are preparing an offer for Rodon, but they don’t want to breach the five-year mark, so building in a club option for the sixth season makes sense.
The Yankees are preparing to make an offer to Rodon, their top remaining target, and seem hopeful, or perhaps even optimistic, which shouldn’t come as a surprise the way this winter has gone.Per Jon Heyman of the New York Post.
Projecting Carlos Rodon’s prospective deal with the Yankees:
-Club option for 6th season, $30 million
In addition to Rodon setting a personal best of 178 innings pitched this past season, he also earned a 2.88 ERA, 12 strikeouts per nine, and a 75.1% left-on-base rate. Rodon has been a high-strikeout pitcher over the past few seasons, which is certainly something the Yankees desire. A lefty with good velocity only adds more diversity to the rotation, with the other lefty pitcher being Nestor Cortés.
There is a strong argument to make that Rodon could put up better numbers than Gerrit Cole, but they will have to manage his workload over the course of a full season. That is where Clarke Schmidt and Domingo German come into play, eating innings and helping to mitigate fatigue down the stretch and during the playoffs.
Nonetheless, coughing up $30 million for Rodon is justifiable, but they must be careful about the years, so a club option at the end would give them the leverage to move on if need be instead of strapping themselves onto a rocket they may end up crash landing down the road.