WINNER: Carlos Rodón (and Gerrit Cole)
Carlos Rodón reportedly desired the pinstripes from Day 1 and charged Scott Boras with getting a deal done. Though it must've been painful for Hal Steinbrenner to extract more cash after getting Aaron Judge's deal done, he managed to nickel-and-dime it to the finish line, making Rodón's dream come true (and giving Gerrit Cole a perfect complement).
The pressure isn't off Cole exactly, but with a fire-breather behind him who embodies everything stubborn fans have accused No. 45 of lacking, the new chain of command should benefit him in 2023.
LOSER: Gleyber Torres
Gleyber Torres struggled in August of 2022, while every other Yankee was struggling tremendously. That's undeniable.
But he posted 4.1 bWAR in 2022 overall with a 114 OPS+. He pounded 7 home runs in May. He OPS'd over .800 in June and July. Somehow, though, he's now become persona non grata and squeezed out of some potential Opening Day lineups in favor of Josh Donaldson?
Now that the Miami Marlins have moved on and acquired Luis Arraez, he's probably safe in the Bronx for Opening Day. But why isn't his role more prominent and assured?
SUPER MEGA WINNER: Aaron Judge
Can't wrap a "Winners/Losers" piece without noting that Judge went from a winking free agent in a San Francisco hotel lobby who'd just suffered through a brutal ALCS to the next Captain of the Yankees who possesses the highest position player AAV in MLB history for the next nine years. Solid glow up for someone who'd already broken the AL single-season home run record.
SNEAKY LOSER: Clarke Schmidt (and OBVIOUS LOSER: Frankie Montas)
A year ago, a fifth starter injury would've sent Clarke Schmidt enthusiastically into the rotation with boatloads of fan support behind him. Now ... everybody's not so sure, and somehow Domingo Germán holds the inside track.
Also ... "Frankie Montas: Fifth Starter" was supposed to represent an embarrassment of riches. Now? It kinda, sorta feels like it represents his ceiling with the Yankees. Does he exist? Is he pitching's Ben Rortvedt?