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Yankees Showing 'Very Real' Interest in Carlos Rodón, But Have Competition

The Yankees are monitoring Carlos Rodón's availability closely, a starting pitcher they've had their eyes on for a long time.

SAN DIEGO — The Yankees missed out on the top two starting pitchers in free agency this offseason, watching as Jacob deGrom signed with the Rangers and Justin Verlander landed with the Mets.

It doesn't sound like New York is panicking or desperate to find alternatives on the open market, though. In fact, the option they've reportedly preferred all along is still available. 

New York is in "daily contact" with Carlos Rodón, a starter they preferred over Verlander and deGrom since he's younger (turns 30 this weekend) and a left-hander, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post. 

Rodón has had the best two seasons of his career over the last two years, making the All-Star Game in both campaigns while finishing in the top six in Cy Young Award voting. The lefty posted a 2.37 ERA over 24 starts in his final season with the White Sox in 2021. He proceeded to set a career-high with 178 innings pitched and 237 strikeouts in a Giants uniform in 2022, pitching to the tune of a 2.88 ERA.

This is more than a flirtation. New York's interest in Rodón—a player they've been linked to in the past—is "very real" and "mutual," per Andy Martino of SNY. 

With a high price tag attached to this ace-caliber starter and several teams also showing interest this winter, it won't be easy for the Yankees to add Rodón to their rotation. 

Rodón is seeking a six-year deal worth as much as $180 million, per Dan Martin of the New York Post. Can the Yankees afford another $30 million per year if they're able to retain Aaron Judge, a player that's poised to sign a contract worth much more than $300 million?

"Word is the Yankees likely could still fit Rodón into their payroll if Judge returns," Heyman wrote. "Although their budget hasn't been defined by the dollar, as of yet."

Speaking at the Winter Meetings on Monday, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman alluded to the fact that he's always looking to add to his starting staff, recognizing that the Judge sweepstakes is forcing New York to be "on hold" with their offseason spending. 

"We've engaged all agents on starting pitching, position players and we've engaged all clubs on potential trade partners," Cashman said. "Clearly, with the amount of commitment it would take to retain an Aaron Judge type, it's put us a little bit on hold, obviously unable to follow up any further past engagement. ... I understand how important pitching is and you always try to add to it."

The risk in waiting for Judge to make his decision is that other clubs are in on Rodón and could pounce at any moment. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Tuesday morning that the Rangers, even after signing deGrom, met with Rodón and might be willing to spend big again. That's before Texas agreed to a two-year deal with ex-Yankee Andrew Heaney, possibly taking them out of the Rodón race. Heyman added that the market for Rodón is "expansive," mentioning the Giants, Dodgers and two surprise teams: the Twins and Orioles.


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