The New York Yankees are heavily in the mix for starting pitcher Carlos Rodon, even presenting a formal offer to him over the weekend. However, Rodon is seeking a deal in a seven-year range, but the Yankees would prefer to settle below that given longevity issues that plagued him in the past.
There are other teams interested in Rodon’s services, so the Yankees need to have a backup plan to fill the vacant starting slot left by Jameson Taillon, who signed a deal with the Chicago Cubs this off-season.
The Yankees believe Rodon wants to come to New York, but if they can’t bridge their difference, they may turn to their next choice, believed to be ex-Yankee Nate Eovaldi. Rodon brings some advantages, his left-handedness being one in Yankee Stadium.Per Jon Heyman of the NY Post.
One decent alternative is Nathan Eovaldi, 32, having pitched for the Boston Red Sox over the past few seasons. Eovaldi spent two years with the Yankees in 2015–16. He posted a 4.20 and 4.76 ERA, but his numbers have gotten a bit better since joining the Red Sox.
Eovaldi recorded a 3.87 ERA, 3.46 xFIP, and 8.48 strikeouts per nine across 109.1 innings this past season. He would be a far cheaper option compared to Rodon, with a projected deal of two years, $30M. The Yankees are preparing to give Rodon $30 million per season, so he would essentially cost half that amount, but the talent drop-off is quite significant.
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Ideally, general manager Brian Cashman would lock down Rodon to a suitable contract, injecting a second ace alongside Gerrit Cole into the rotation. If the Yankees have to pivot their starting pitching focus, Eovaldi is a decent alternative that will likely replicate a similar stat line to Taillon.
The veteran starter features a 4-seam fastball, split-finger, curveball, slider, and cutter. He has a good sequence of pitches to utilize, but none are extraordinary. His velocity regarding his fastball averaged out at 95.7 mph in 2022, so he clearly has a bit of juice left in the tank before potentially experiencing a significant drop off in efficiency. His numbers have been slowly deteriorating over the past few seasons, indicating he might be at the end of his prime.