The Yankees need a fire-breathing No. 2 behind Gerrit Cole, and there are several options — both on the market and internally — who could deliver them such a difference-maker.
Luis Severino could be fully healthy and providing 180 innings next year, for instance. That could get it done, but is something that’s impossible to count on without the requisite insurance policy.
On the trade market, New York could add Frankie Montas or Sean Manaea from Oakland, both of whom are both expressive and dominant on the mound.
Free agency? Well, it’s surprisingly slim pickins from an attitude standpoint, which leads you to White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodón, a fifth-place finisher in last season’s Cy Young race who’s bombastic, effective, and doesn’t necessarily scream “stability” as often as he screams, “YEAHHH!” post-strikeout.
From a pure fandom perspective, though, we’d love to see Rodón join the Yankees, cost be damned. It’s going to take a slight overpay, at least, to secure his services, but good contract or bad contract, the Yanks should be able to survive — especially for a pitcher, who can be buried on the IL and forgotten about if the situation calls for it.
Per the latest rumors out of Chicago (why are we still getting rumors mid-lockout?), New York is indeed in on Rodón … as are most of MLB’s other good and hungry teams.
Yankees Rumors: Carlos Rodón, anyone?
If you consider sunk costs as risks, Rodón is certainly among the riskiest possible free agent additions this offseason — though he also has the highest upside. 2021 was his first semi-full season since 2016, and he didn’t even get to his 132.2-inning finish line without some significant bumps and bruises (and pauses) along the way. That said, ’21 was also his first season spent throwing in the upper-90s, and he destroyed the competition when healthy, whiffing an astounding 185 men.
Plus, keep in mind the Yankees are running with the bulls here. If the Red Sox and Dodgers are also interested in Rodón’s services, then that indicates there might just be something to the addition. You can’t claim the Yankees were smart for staying out of the pre-lockout free agent frenzy because the Sox and Dodgers largely did, too, then call the Yanks dumb for pursuing an injury-prone Rodón. That’s not how any of this works.
The prospect of the electric Rodón in NYC is doubtlessly intriguing — even to members of his immediate family. Rodón’s wife Ashley, for instance, would very much like to know how legitimate the Yankees’ interest is so she can check out the surrounding area. End this damn lockout, please?
Whether all of these teams really are twiddling their thumbs waiting to give Rodón’s agent a call is anyone’s guess.
In the meantime, though, the Yankees seem to be in good company in this segment of the rumor mill.