The New York Yankees have needed an attitude adjustment for several seasons, something that can occasionally be achieved by importing talented players with no history in NYC to come in and be disruptors.
“Astros-Yankees? I don’t watch. Who usually wins? I’m just here to kick ass.” Helps if said “talent” has a mean streak, too.
This type of infusion is what the Yankees were hoping to pull off by absorbing Josh Donaldson’s salary last year, but to no avail; Donaldson’s bat speed didn’t match his defensive wizardry, and the only people he rankled were on the Chicago White Sox and in his own clubhouse. And he did not rankle them in a good way!
Now, the Yankees have a second chance to wipe the slate clean and try it again with an über-talented left-hander in his prime. The Bombers have signed Carlos Rodón to a six-year, $162 million deal, which is one year and $40+ million below his initial ask. Good job, Cash/Hal!
Rodón is a back-to-back All-Star/Top 10 Cy Young finisher who’s found himself (and his upper-90s fastball) the past two seasons. He’s a prototypical bulldog. He rocks, fires, and screams in the hitter’s general direction. Sometimes, he shushes. He’s exactly what the Yankees need, and more.
He also particularly enjoys channeling his fire in the direction of the Astros, a team he believes got off unfairly lightly when it came time to punish them for cheating the game of baseball.
New Yankees No. 2 Carlos Rodón hates Astros, torches them
Beats the Astros routinely and despises them? Our own personal Kenny Powers. Wild.
The stats speak for themselves, but in terms of context on the anti-Astros diatribe, that was Rodón responding to the fairness of MLB’s proposed “sticky stuff” punishment in 2021 and comparing it to Houston’s stars walking into the sunset and keeping their 2017 rings.
If Rodón was a devoted user of sticky stuff, he certainly found a happy medium without it (or, let’s be honest, with it) in 2022, whiffing 237 in 178 dominant innings with a 1.028 WHIP in both the best and longest season of his career. He’s the perfect No. 2 behind Gerrit Cole, for myriad reasons.
Of course, Astros fans still decided to have their way with the Yankees on Thursday night, tweeting a reported 180% more than the night they actually won the 2022 World Series. Always willing to stick a pin in the Yankees’ balloon, they just had to remind fans that they’ve played nine postseason games against New York’s new-look rotation and won ’em all.
Everyone knows the Astros are still the Big Boss at the end of the Yankees’ regular season. No fan would ever claim they’re comfortable or optimistic about their chances against the ‘Stros until they actually see it happen.
But … the fact remains … if the Yankees improve their lineup … and get a full season out of Oswald Peraza … and add Rodón … while deleting Justin Verlander from the Astros … then the Yanks have gone from “no chance” to “a chance”.
And in Game 2, Rodón will be buzzing someone’s tower, then begging for the ball.