Sports Update 

The Yankees are “in” 2 elite free agent pitchers

July 31, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Carlos Rodon (16) of the San Francisco Giants threw a starting pitch against the Chicago Cubs during the fourth inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees’ focus may be on Aaron Judge’s huge reach, but they’re also intrigued by two elite starting pitchers in the free agent market. Judge’s contract will no doubt come first and foremost, but General Manager Brian Cashman is doing heavy due diligence on Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodon.

Yankees in Rodon and Verlander (Gerrit Cole’s close relationship doesn’t hurt but New Yorkers aren’t necessarily optimistic there). Not much in DeGrom for what he’s after – $40 million plus. Judge remains the main man but there seems to be room to add a big start too.

for every John Heyman from the New York Post

What Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodon will bring to the Yankees:

The interesting nature between Verlander and Rodon is that they offer two very different options. Verlander is 39 years old and just won a Cy Young Award from Tommy John surgery. He’s looking for a three-year deal worth around $130 million, but that number is likely to come down given his age.

However, hosting a 1.75 ERA and 9.51 strikeouts per nine certainly warrants a great contract after signing a two-year, $50 million deal last season with the Houston Astors. He apparently opted out of the sophomore year, looking for more money and commitment.

There is no doubt that the Yankees will have one of the best starting rotations in the game featuring Verlander and Gerrit Cole at first and second.

However, Verlander’s opposite party is Rodon, who is looking for a major contract extension of 5-7 years. Some have tied Rodon to around five years, averaging $28 million a season, which is far less than the deal Verlander is looking for.

Rodon is just as electric himself, considering he’s 10 years younger and is coming off another great season. Over 178 innings pitched with the San Francisco Giants, Rodon has hosted a 2.88 ERA, 2.91 xFIP, 11.98 strikeouts per nine, and a 75.1% on-base average. He now has a sub-3.00 ERA in two consecutive seasons, pitching more than 130 innings in both. As a postseason player, he doesn’t have a lot of experience, but the Yankees won’t be worried about that.

Rodon uses a quick 4-seam combination lubricant. His fastball produced a . 213 average for a 28% sniffing average last season, while his slider produced a . 193 average for a 39% draft rate. Overall, he has flawless stuff and would be a great grab for the Yankees, who would basically replace Jameson Tellon with one of the better pitchers on the market.

The question is, is Cashman waiting until the Aaron Judge deal is done, or are they willing to be aggressive beforehand?

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