The last big fish on the pitching market, Carlos Rodon, represents an intriguing opportunity for the Yankees. Especially after acquiring Aaron Judge.
The Yankees have a unique opportunity to add a difference-maker
Rodon has one of the best arms in the game, and the only thing limiting his earning potential in free agency is his injury history.
His numbers since breaking out in 2021 are exceptional. He’s pitched 310 innings and has a 2.42 FIP and a 0.99 WHIP. He has struck out 34% of batters faced while allowing opponents a.507 OPS.
That screams dominance across the board, and his career-high 178 innings in the previous season suggest he may be a better bet to stay healthy long-term than he was in the past, especially if managed carefully.
If Rodon joins the team, he will theoretically replace Jameson Taillon in the rotation. But Rodon’s pursuit is all about upside, and if Taillon stayed on the roster for another year, it wouldn’t change anything.
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The Yankees are looking for a rotation difference maker, the type of pitcher who can carry you through the postseason.
There will obviously be a healthy amount of risk for any team that signs Rodon, but the Yankees are one of only a few that can afford that risk, both in terms of budget and rotation status.
They are an excellent fit, with a staff that will work to manage his innings load and has the depth to deal with any injuries that may arise.
It wouldn’t be ideal, but let’s say Rodon has some lingering issues and only pitches 90 to 100 innings during the regular season, but is fully healthy for the playoffs. His ability to take over games in October could be huge, and the Yankees can manage without him in the summer. What they want is another top-tier arm who can push at the end of the season.