The New York Yankees have made a number of key moves this offseason. Re-signing Aaron Judge obviously stands out. Bringing back the slugger on a 9-year, $360 million deal presents some risk. But was it the riskiest move of the Yankees’ offseason?
The Yankees are in a position where taking risks is necessary. They haven’t won a World Series since 2009, which feels like an eternity for Yankees’ fans. They’ve also become the Houston Astros’ little brother in a sense of the past few years. This is a Yankees’ ball club that is doing everything in their power to get back on track and put the Astros in their place.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the Yankees’ offseason transcactions and determine their riskiest move.
*Transaction information via CBS Sports.
Yankees’ offseason moves
As aforementioned, re-signing Aaron Judge stands out for New York.
The Yankees also re-signed 1B Anthony Rizzo. Their most notable outside move was signing SP Carlos Rodon in MLB Free Agency. They inked the All-Star left-handed pitcher to a 6-year, $162 million contract this offseason.
The Yankees made other moves, but these three signings stand out. The decision to bring Rizzo back isn’t all that risky since he isn’t making nearly as much as Judge or Rodon.
Anytime a team signs a player to a multi-year contract worth a lot of money, there is risk involved. But even if Aaron Judge deals with injuries and can’t play in the outfield later in his career, he could end up moving to first base or designated hitter. Judge is a talented enough offensive presence where he should be able to perform at a high level from an offensive standpoint for years to come.
So that leaves the Yankees’ Carlos Rodon contract.
Carlos Rodon’s 6-year, $162 million contract
Signing Carlos Rodon wasn’t a bad move by any means. But the risk cannot be ignored.
For starters, the left-hander is already 30-years old. Yes, pitchers such as Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander have pitched well into their late 30’s. But there are plenty of other superstar pitchers who fizzled out the moment they turned 30-years old.
Carlos Rodon has been able to stay healthy for the most part during the past couple of seasons. However, he dealt with plenty of injury concern early in his career. From 2017-2020, Rodon failed to make more than 20 starts in any of those seasons. He pitched in all of 11 games from 2019-2020.
The Yankees are hopeful that his prior injury issues will not re-surface. But it is something that is worth keeping tabs on.
Is there reason to be concerned from purely a performance standpoint?
Carlos Rodon has enjoyed back-to-back excellent campaigns between the Chicago White Sox and San Francisco Giants. He posted a 2.37 ERA in 2021, and a 2.88 ERA in 2022. Rodon also struck out 237 hitters in 2022 with the Giants.
If he is able to stay healthy, Rodon should be able to find success in New York with the Yankees.
The Yankees currently project to have one of the better pitching rotations in baseball with Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, and Carlos Rodon leading the charge. But if Rodon were to fizzle out or get injured, the Yankees’ rotation will look like a far more average pitching staff.
This move has the potential to pan out. But there is risk involved without question.