This stat will anger Yankees fans (and get ’em on the Carlos Rodón train)


It’s always nice to see your former players thriving, right, Yankees fans?

Unless you traded them away for poor performance in return or dumped them for unsalted peanuts like Garrett Whitlock. In that case, it’s pretty infuriating — especially during a lockout, where we’re hanging on for dear life to anything perceived as good news. “What’s that? Carlos Correa hasn’t put the Yankees on his Do Not Call List? No. 28, here we come!”

Sure, we may not have specific beefs with most ex-Yanks. I’m sure we all wish Dustin Fowler well, especially after his Yankee career ended in such tragic fashion thanks to what looked like a circuit breaker in play in right field in Chicago. Still, even with the best of intentions, it still stings to see “What Could Have Beens” dominate.

And … that brings us to James Kaprielian, who we traded to Oakland in the Sonny Gray deal, only to see him hit MLB with one of the most effective fastballs in the entire league. Better than Max Scherzer. Better than Jacob deGrom. Weep, Mets. Weep more, Yankees.

Would we make the Gray trade again? Of course we would. Three unproven commodities for an All-Star, and only Kaprielian has made an MLB impact (and it took quite a while).

But when you learn Kaprielian has a top-three most effective fastball in MLB when it hits the heart of the plate? That’s kind of a tough pill to swallow.

At least the rest of this list clarifies one of our free agent crushes! Silver lining.

Yankees’ former ace prospect James Kaprielian has a deGrom fastball.

As the great George Costanza once said, “Jimmy Kap corn … and I don’t care.”

Or, at least, I have to pretend not to care, because I simply have to move on. Dwelling does us no good.

Kaprielian proved in 2021 that he’s exactly what the Yankees hope Clarke Schmidt still turns into — a perfectly average young starter who could turn into something more (you know, given the fastball potency). He wasn’t exactly Max Scherzer last season (8-5, 4.07 ERA, 123 whiffs in 119.1 innings pitched), but the 27-year-old is cheaply under team control through 2026, and there’s obvious room to grow according to his profile.

For now, we’ll try not to get too bummed out about Kaprielian’s natural talents, and we’ll focus instead on the fact that the Yankees could have one of the other guys on this list for money alone.

Stop fretting over Rodón’s injury risk. It’s baked in. It’s part of his profile.

When he’s healthy, though, he’s one of the elite heat-chuckers in all of baseball. That’s worth the price of admission, and the Yankees should follow their reported interest here.

It’s not Scherzer, but it’s a start.