The New York Yankees have made a major addition to their pitching rotation with the addition of free agent Carlos Rodon.
The left-hander, who posted a 14-8 record and 2.88 ERA last season with the San Francisco Giants, agreed to a six-year, $162 million contract, according to a baseball official with direct knowledge of the deal.
The official spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the deal has not been finalized.
With Jacob deGrom, Justin Verlander and several mid-range options off the board, Rodon, who turned 30 on Dec. 10, was by far the best remaining starting pitcher still available – and should give the Yankees a potentially daunting playoff look.
They can come out of the gate with a Gerrit Cole-Rodon right-left option in a Game 1 and 2, reflecting the free agent might they flexed by signing Cole (for $324 million over nine years) and Rodon. Both are clients of agent Scott Boras.
The third overall pick by the Chicago White Sox in the 2014 draft, Rodon struggled with injuries early in his career before emerging as one of the majors’ best pitchers over the past two seasons.
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The White Sox dropped him from their 40-man roster, but re-signed him to a minor league deal in 2021. He went 13-5 with a dazzling 2.37 ERA over 24 starts – including a no-hitter that April – but the White Sox didn’t make an effort to re-sign him.
The Giants stepped in with an incentive-laden deal last winter that allowed Rodon to opt out and become a free agent – which he did after going 14-8 with a 2.88 ERA and posting career-highs in starts (31), innings (178) and strikeouts (237). His 12.0 strikeouts per nine innings ranked first among all qualified National League starters.
Rodon was named to the AL All-Star team in 2021 and the NL squad in 2022, finishing fifth and sixth in the respective leagues’ Cy Young voting.