Yankees: 3 Non-Tendered players NYY would be insane not to chase

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CLEVELAND, OHIO – JULY 28: Starting pitcher Carlos Rodon #55 of the Chicago White Sox pitches during the first inning of game 2 of a double header against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on July 28, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

2. Carlos Rodon

The Yankees have a rotation hole or two, and Carlos Rodon would be a better-than-average flyer.

Carlos Rodon, the third overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, was a rapid riser in Chicago, but has been haunted by injuries and ineffectiveness the past two years.

But now, all he costs is money. And probably not that much money, considering he needs to be helped off the scrap heap!

There’s something more that needs to be unlocked in Rodon’s nearly-28-year-old arm, and his first four MLB seasons (age 22-26) were all the same level of…well, perfectly capable. In full 2015 and 2016 seasons, Rodon posted 3.75 and 4.04 ERAs with just about a strikeout per inning, then whiffed 76 men in 69.1 innings the next season before his arm started barking. He spent time on the IL in 2017, opened the 2018 season with shoulder troubles, and underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019, only to come back for an underwhelming four starts this season.

In other words, that’s a lot of disaster in very little time, but it’s generally darkest before the dawn. Once the TJ procedure and rehab have been completed, it’s quite likely that things get easier for a pitcher from there.

Rodon is a top-pedigree talent who showed off his skills at a very early age at the MLB level, and he’s available for relative peanuts for a team that needs a few different lottery tickets to hit in the back end of the rotation — or, frankly, in the middle of the bullpen. It’s been a long time since the Yankees had a lefty there.

This makes too much sense, and is too inexpensive, not to pursue.