The New York Yankees have found their co-ace alongside Gerrit Cole.
The Bronx Bombers and Carlos Rodon have agreed to a six-year, $162 million deal, according to multiple reports.
Rodon finished in sixth place in the NL Cy Young Award vote last year after a fifth-place finish in the AL vote in 2021 — he was named an All-Star in both seasons. He just turned 30 on Saturday.
Last season was the first time in the lefty’s career he was able to rack up at least 30 starts — in his 31 starts, he pitched to a 2.88 ERA, yet his 2.25 FIP (fielders independent pitching) and 12.0 K/9 were both the best marks in baseball.
Since the beginning of the 2021 season, Rodon ranks first in K/9 (12.2) and FIP (2.42), fifth in ERA (2.67) and seventh in WHIP (1.00).
Rodon turned his entire career around in that 2021 season. In his first six MLB seasons, his ERA was 4.14, and from 2017 to 2020, he made just 43 starts (2020 was the COVID-shortened season, but he still missed time after starting only seven times in 2019).
However, if he is able to keep up what he has done in the last two seasons, the Yankees may have the best pitching staff in all of baseball.
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Cole had an up-and-down season last year, but it should not surprise anyone if he goes back to being a Cy Young candidate again — he allowed six earned runs in 18.1 postseason innings this October (2.95 ERA).
Nestor Cortes also showed that his 2021 season was no fluke as he pitched to a 2.44 ERA this past season, the 10th-lowest among pitchers with 100+ innings.
Rodon also replaces Jameson Taillon, who signed a four-year deal with the Chicago Cubs after posting a 3.91 ERA in 2022, and a healthy Luis Severino (3.18 ERA, 9.9 K/9, 1.00 WHIP in 2022) can also be a dominant force.
The Yankees were on pace for 120 wins last season in the summer. However, they settled for 99 before getting swept by the eventual World Series champion Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series. They have not appeared in a World Series since 2009.
However, with the signing of Rodon and retaining Aaron Judge to an historic deal (they also re-signed Anthony Rizzo and brought back reliever Tommy Kahnle), they are doing what they can to break that drought.
Ironically enough, Rodon spent last year with the San Francisco Giants, who will visit the Yankees on Opening Day this season. The Giants were also heavy contenders, and maybe considered the favorites, to land Judge before Hal Steinbrenner improved his offer to bring Judge back to E. 161st St.
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