Since free agency started for the New York Yankees, general manager Brian Cashman and owner Hal Steinbrenner have committed $573.5 million in future salaries. Aaron Judge is taking up $360 million, Carlos Rodon is on a fresh $162 million deal, Anthony Rizzo landed a $40 million extension, and reliever Tommy Kahnle is at $11.5 million.
When you focus on Rodon’s deal specifically, you see just how much of a steal it really is for the Bombers, who are looking to create one of the best rotations in baseball and land yet another ace.
Rodon is coming off a phenomenal 2022 season during his age-29 campaign. He earned a 2.88 ERA, 2.91 xFIP, 12 strikeouts per nine, and a 75.1% left-on-base rate across 178 innings. There was a major concern regarding his longevity, but after posting back-to-back seasons with a minimum of 130 innings pitched, the injury worries are behind him. He now has two straight seasons of sub-3.00 ERA baseball, earning a 2.37 ERA in 2021 with the Chicago White Sox.
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The Yankees got a bargain with Carlos Rodon:
Reports had indicated that Rodon was looking for a deal in the seven-year, $200 million range, which would pay him about $28.6 million per season, but the Yankees managed to reduce that and convinced him to lock it down. Rodon was reportedly intrigued by the Yankees and preferred to pitch in the Bronx, so Cashman had the upper hand and just needed to up the ante a bit more to sway his mind.
They managed to come in under the $30 million per season he was expected to get on the open market. What likely occurred — Cashman wanted a 4–5 year deal but offer less money per season to give him the sixth year of security.
Considering what Jacob deGrom and Justin Verlander are doing in their late 30s, Rodon will be 36 when his contract expires with the Bombers. That is a healthy deal. In addition, ownership can now feel confident that they stuck to their word regarding Aaron Judge, promising the superstar slugger they would continue adding pieces to compete for a World Series next season.
However, the Yankees aren’t done just yet, as they need a new left fielder, and reports have suggested that Andrew Benintendi is still an option. He may want a deal similar to Masataka Yoshida, who is earning $18 million per year, but the Yankees would like to hover around the $15 million range.