While the Yankees continue to focus on retaining Aaron Judge in free agency this offseason, an initiative that will require a deep dive into owner Hal Steinbrenner's pockets, New York is hoping to bolster their starting rotation on the open market.
Several top-tier starters are available this winter and while some are more attainable than others, it seems like the Yankees are casting a wide net at this point in the offseason.
Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports that New York has "been in contact" with this year's AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander, Japanese star Kodai Senga, Giants lefty Carlos Rodón and more. He also singled out ex-Yankees starter Jameson Tailllon—who could return after two years in pinstripes—as well as Pablo López of the Marlins, a pitcher that the Yankees tried to acquire at this summer's trade deadline.
New York's pursuit of pitching is said to be "on different tracks" with the Judge sweepstakes, per Heyman. That's in line with a comment that Steinbrenner made earlier this winter, assuring to reporters that the Yankees have the ability "to make other things happen" beyond re-signing Judge.
Rodón is an intriguing option for the Yankees, a left-hander that's been an All-Star in each of his last two seasons. In that span, Rodón has a 2.67 ERA over 55 starts (310.2 innings) with a 27-13 record. He began his career with seven seasons in a White Sox uniform before joining the Giants last year, shining atop their rotation in 2022.
In 2022, Rodón struck out a career-high 237 batters, leading MLB with 12 strikeouts per nine innings. He allowed only 12 home runs.
Heyman added that Yankees personnel "very much like" Rodón. He's younger than Verlander and Mets ace Jacob deGrom (who is also available this winter) and can provide some balance to New York's rotation, a staff that features all right-handers other than Nestor Cortes. He's also set to enter his age-30 season, a candidate to help out in this rotation for several years.
- Giants 'Pulling Out All the Stops' in Free Agency Pitch to Aaron Judge
- Red Sox Acquire Ex-Yankees Prospect in Trade With Pirates
- Yankees, Red Sox in Contact with Kodai Senga’s Reps