Star free agent starting pitcher Carlos Rodon has been a target for the Yankees.
What Yankees talk about Carlos Rodon among big-money chase
Real and reciprocal interest exists on the part of the Yankees in unrestricted free agent starting pitcher Carlos Rodon.
A person with knowledge of the conversations told NJ Advance Media on Thursday that Rodon’s representatives at Boras Corp. have maintained contact with the Yankees’ front office and that the Big Apple is one of his preferred travel destinations.
Because he wasn’t authorized to speak in front of the public, the individual spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The Yankees publicly praised Rodon, who turns 30 on Saturday, at the MLB Winter Meetings this week in San Diego.
“He’s a great pitcher,” general manager Brian Cashman said while on the YES Network. “No doubt about it.”
“You’re talking about a really talented guy that is obviously really starting to realize his potential in this game the last couple of years,” manager Aaron Boone said.
Of course, it will come down to money and how much the Yankees are willing to spend on a top-tier starting pitcher after just giving right fielder Aaron Judge a $360 million, nine-year contract.
According to a different source familiar with the negotiations, Rodon was pushing for a six-year contract worth around $30 million per year as of earlier this week.
They have Nestor Cortes, who was an All-Star for the first time last season, Frankie Montas, and Luis Severino behind ace Gerrit Cole.
Clarke Schmidt and Domingo German are currently battling for fifth place. Last year, the Yankees dealt a lot of minor-league pitching depth at the trade deadline.
The last two seasons, Rodon has pitched like an ace. He has a 2.67 ERA and a 12.2 K/9 over 55 starts.
He has a long history of injuries, including shoulder and elbow issues, but he made 31 starts and pitched 178 innings last season.
“There’s certainly an intent and an interest from our part to find ways to continue to improve this team,” Cashman said. “We’ve hit the ground running here at the Winter Meetings. Players are making decisions. It seems like the free agent market is moving. The trade market has been a little quiet. I’m sure that will change sooner than later, too. But no doubt that we have to explore all options that are available to us. I’ll stay engaged with our owner to see what can materialize out of that. But, yeah, if we could add some more pitching, it would be a benefit.”
“I think they’re up there exploring every option and we’ll see where everything ends up,” Boone said.