The New York Yankees have more business to conduct after leaving the Winter Meetings with their 282-pound right fielder in tow. First atop the list, despite a clear vacancy in left field? Left-handed ace Carlos Rodón. There are enough tea leaves to read here to fill the pages of Moby Dick.
Where there’s smoke, there’s often fire, but as Yankee fans learned under 48 hours ago, sometimes there’s just … well-placed smoke.
New York has been connected so heavily to Rodón in recent days, both before and after the Aaron Judge news became official, that it would be easy to feel as if the team were being used. Rarely are rumors this public. Rarely do the modern Yankees spend this much. The Rodón conversation has gotten to the point, though, where even Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone have been asked about it in each pre-and-post-Judge media appearance they’ve done (Boone famously smirked, saying, “He’s really good,” while giving The Wink That Launched 1,000 Columns).
At some point, something has got to give. And as false hope-y as the chatter’s felt at times, it should keep Yankee fans going that this isn’t just the disconnected rumor mongers throwing his name to the wind at the behest of Scott Boras.
Jack Curry, who may be more plugged in than any Yankee insider (considering his info comes straight from the horse’s mouth), dropped his own personal nugget, declaring that the team’s interest is “definite.”
Yankees-Carlos Rodón rumors coming directly from Jack Curry is good
“Nice fit,” “mettle to succeed in NY” … you don’t have to sell me, brother!
Curry going above and beyond to make the connection makes it obvious. Whether the Yankees wind up securing Rodón’s services or not, these aren’t free agent conversations concocted by some warlock far away from the team’s offices. The Bombers firmly seem to believe they’re in the running, and probably at the front of the line.
According to projections, Rodón, following fifth and sixth-place Cy Young finishes, is seeking around $30 million per year for either six or seven seasons. In this market especially, that seems like a fair ask.
Thus far, Buster Olney has been the only visible MLB insider to balk at the Yankees being amenable to those terms, whereas others, like MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, basically sung the New York connection out loud on live television.
Will Rodón wind up a Yankee in the coming days? It depends on just how far the team wants to stretch their bloated payroll. In order to secure a left fielder and pitching help, though, it’s going to take a bit of stretching. Without doing so, the 2023 Yankees won’t be any better than the 2022 vintage.
While there are no guarantees, Yankee fans have plenty more to go on now than just Scott Boras’ Jack Black references.
Before Judge’s signing, Curry was on YES Network’s Hot Stove show musing about whether or not the Yankees could approximate Rodón’s production with Domingo Germán and Clarke Schmidt (for reference, they cannot).
After Judge’s signing? “Definite interest, nice fit, mettle to succeed in New York.” Come on, Yankees. Go get your white whale.