Yankees’ $160 million free agent signing diagnosed with ‘chronic’ back issue

carlos rodon, yankees
Feb 22, 2023; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (55) during photo day at George M. Steinbrenner Field Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The injury bug persistently plagues the Yankees, particularly in the outfield. The starting rotation has also been decimated, with Frankie Montas missing almost the entire 2023 season, Luis Severino recovering from a lat injury, and Carlos Rodon suffering a left forearm injury during spring training.

However, Rodon’s injury has evolved into a much more severe problem, progressing from a forearm strain to what is now being diagnosed as a “chronic” back issue.

Carlos Rodon said he has been told his back issue is “chronic.” He is tentatively scheduled to have the cortisone injection next week. Asked if a July return is realistic, he said: “I can’t put a timeline on anything. I’ll get this injection and I want to throw as soon as I can.”

Per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.

The Yankees may have made a huge mistake with Carlos Rodon:

Rodon is coming off an outstanding season with the San Francisco Giants at 29 years old. He recorded a 2.88 ERA and 2.91 xFIP across 178 innings, a career-high. He also achieved 12 strikeouts per nine innings with a 75.1% left-on-base rate, averaging 95.5 mph on his fastball, another personal best.

After signing a six-year, $160 million deal with the Yankees, Rodon was expected to fill a significant gap in the rotation and enhance their World Series potential. However, he has now been diagnosed with a chronic issue that could jeopardize his tenure in the Bronx before it even begins.

At this point, it is crucial to scrutinize the Yankees’ evaluation process when signing free agents and acquiring players through trades. Montas serves as another example, having already been injured with a shoulder problem when the Yankees traded for him at the deadline last summer.

Investing in unreliable players is becoming a recurrent issue for Cashman and upper management. Regrettably, these problems do not appear to be subsiding any time soon, and the Yankees would be wise to reconsider their player acquisition strategy moving forward.

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