It is no secret that the New York Yankees are in deep regarding the starting pitching market. Despite missing out on Jacob deGrom and Justin Verlander, general manager Brian Cashman has already made significant contact with Carlos Rodon and Kodai Senga out of Japan.
However, manager Aaron Boone was asked about Rodon on Monday, in which he couldn’t even stop himself from providing an eager grin that suggested the Yankees are seriously interested in adding him to their already solid rotation.
The Yankees need to jump on Carlos Rodon before he’s gone:
Rodon is coming off an impeccable 2022 season at 29 years old. He recorded a 2.88 ERA, 2.91 xFIP, 12 strikeouts per nine, and a 75.1% left-on-base rate over 178 innings. He averaged 95.5 mph on his fastball, utilizing a 4-seam and slider Combination.
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The Yankees would like to add another piece to the rotation after losing Jameson Taillon, preferably one that increases their overall stature instead of a backend support option to help mitigate fatigue down the stretch. They have Clarke Schmidt and Domingo German readily available to help smooth out work-loads during the regular season as they try to avoid fatigue during the playoffs, which hampered their success.
Rodon is looking for a deal worth around $30 million per season over 5–6 years, which is certainly a significant contract but nowhere near the substantial deals that deGrom and Verlander bother secured.
The Yankees currently have $203.8 million in projected total payroll after their arbitration hearings are settled or avoided. That leaves them with about $60 million to match their 2022 active payroll, but the expectation is that owner Hal Steinbrenner will allow Cashman to push beyond the first luxury tax threshold. The second tier would accrue a 42.5% sub-charge, up from 12%, which is the category that the Yankees landed in last season to try and save a few bucks anticipating Judge’s behemoth deal.
Ultimately, the Bombers have plenty of cash flow to sign Rodon and retain Judge, it’s just a matter of their desire to wait on the superstar slugger or start their aggressive pursuit beforehand.