The New York Yankees made another big splash, signing Carlos Rodon to a six-year, $162 million contract. The 30-year-old left-hander spent last season on the San Francisco Giants with a 2.88 ERA, and a career-high 237 strikeouts and 14 wins. The ace earned his major payday after holding hitters to a phenomenal .202/.263/.308 batting line.
Rodon's ability to rely on just two pitches -- his fastball and slider -- breaks the normal mold for a starter in this day and age. After being drafted third overall in the 2014 draft, the lefty struggled a bit with the Chicago White Sox. He battled injuries and had Tommy John surgery, earning just 29 wins, and having only one season with a sub-4.00 ERA in his first seven years. Then, in 2021, Rodon put it all together and landed a one-year deal with the Giants. Now, coming off another fantastic season, Rodon has parlayed that into a massive contract that gives the Yankees one of the best rotations in the league.
While Rodon does have injury risk, there is no doubt that he has the potential to be a CY Young Award winner. With his strikeout ability, the two-time All-Star could be the piece that New York needed. The Yankees signing Carlos Rodon just might put them over the top for a World Series title. Furthermore, his fantasy impact gets a solid boost as he joins one of the best teams in baseball.
New York Yankees Sign Carlos Rodon
Carlos Rodon's 2022 Season
New Yankees SP Carlos Rodon's #Giants records:
- Season GP (11) of 10+ Ks
- Ks (38) in 1st 4 season GP
- 20+ Ks & 5 Hits or fewer allowed in 1st 2 season GP
- Ks in 1st 12 GP (83) or 24 GP (179) w/ Giants
He set all these in just 1 season during 2022pic.twitter.com/7KYaT3aIaU
— Pro Sports Outlook (@PSO_Sports) December 16, 2022
Rodon bet on himself at the end of 2021 and signed a one-year, $21 million contract with the San Francisco Giants last offseason. It sure paid off. All the NC State product did was produce. Rodon had a league-leading FIP (2.25) and finished third in strikeouts (237). Part of Rodon's success came in his transition to almost solely relying on his fastball and slider. "Los" used his fastball a career-high 61.2% of the time while leaning on his slider for 31.1% of his pitches. The formula was extremely successful as his 95.5 average MPH fastball had the second-highest whiff rate in baseball, only behind new teammate Gerrit Cole.
Even though Rodon put together his best season in 2022, he definitely comes with risk. He had Tommy John surgery in 2019 and barely pitched in 2020. His injury history and desired payday, combined with the Giants desire to get help on the offense and sign Carlos Correa, ultimately led to his departure.
Carlos Rodon's Fantasy Impact with the New York Yankees
Carlos Rodon has pitched at Yankee Stadium four times in his career. He has a 2.16 ERA in 25 IP and is 3-0 in those starts
His energy is coming to the Bronx. pic.twitter.com/umJ1Ezn2HG
— YankeesMuse (@YankeesMuse) December 16, 2022
Carlos Rodon's fantasy arrow is pointing up after this move. While the Giants weren't terrible offensively -- they were 11th in runs -- the Yankees have a far more potent lineup to support their pitching staff. New York ranked 2nd in runs scored last season and not much changed on that offense. Rodon should get fantastic run support and push for a 15-win season.
However, the left-hander does get a slight downgrade in his home ballpark. Going from San Francisco to New York as a home ballpark isn't ideal, but Rodon will see certainly see plenty more run support in return. In fact, as shown in the tweet above, Rodon has been pretty solid when pitching at Yankee Stadium.
In the past two seasons, Rodon has put together a 2.67 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 27 wins and 422 strikeouts in 310.2 innings. His win total should definitely increase in 2022. In the Fantasy Six Pack's Mock Draft, Rodon went in the fourth round. Now that he is with the Yankees, we could see Rodon creep up towards the front of the third. It's a high price, but his potential is sky-high.
The rest of the Yankees' pitching staff is loaded with talent. Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, Frankie Montas and Nestor Cortes Jr. create arguably the best rotation in baseball. After tallying 99 wins last season, the Yankees should pass that. This team is surely going to help fantasy managers next season.
Carlos Rodon's Departure Impact on the San Francisco Giants
Losing Rodon is a major blow to the Giants, but they were seemingly aware of his impending leave. They signed Ross Stripling and Sean Manaea earlier this week, adding to a rotation of Logan Webb, Alex Cobb, Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood.
Aside from Webb, the rotation is underwhelming. Losing Rodon, who struck out 12.55 batters per nine innings, is pretty brutal. However, they allocated money to bringing in a star shortstop in Correa and OF Mitch Haniger. San Francisco was able to bring some balance to their team with the money they could have spent on just Rodon.
Competing with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West is no easy task. The Giants opted to sign the 28-year-old Correa and make him the cornerstone of the franchise. It's hard to blame San Francisco as Rodon came with risk and there was a major hole in the Giants lineup. Overall, it was a fair trade-off if the Giants can get success from their other signings.
Check out where Dave Eddy ranks the Giants prospects in his 2023 Dynasty Baseball Rankings!
Final Thoughts on Carlos Rodon
Even with the injury risk, Rodon's upside makes him a fantasy star. The Yankees defense is often overlooked, but the team actually finished first in Defensive Runs Saved last season by a wide margin. This, combined with their incredible offense, creates a healthy soil for Rodon to grow.
Rodon should finish inside the top 10 for fantasy starting pitchers this season. Outside of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Shane McClanahan and Dylan Cease, "Los" is probably the best pitcher in the AL. The lefty could moves up a round or two in mock drafts as the offseason continues.
Fantasy managers should feel confident in what they are getting with Carlos Rodon. Now in pinstripes, he will look to prove that his lucrative contract was worth it.
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