The Yankees will have to wait on free agent signee Carlos Rodon just a bit longer.
Manager Aaron Boone met with reporters on Tuesday and said the big lefty is now dealing with a sore back while rehabbing a left forearm strain. The good news is it’s minor and should only delay his return by a few days.
Rodon signed a six-year, $162 million deal with the Yankees in free agency. He had a career season with the Giants last year and posted a 2.88 ERA with 237 strikeouts. Rodon also led MLB with 12 strikeouts per nine innings (K/9) and a 2.25 FIP.
It’s a frustrating bump in the road but is really just that. A minor setback. It probably means Rodon’s debut comes in early May as opposed to the end of this month. The Yankees are just taking one extra precaution against a $162 million investment.
Moreover, Carlos Rodon has a lengthy injury history and the Yankees are well aware of this. He’s already had Tommy John surgery and dealt with shoulder trouble in the past. The last thing the Yankees need is for him to turn into another Carl Pavano or Jaret Wright. Or Kei Igawa, Ed Whitson, etc.
Rest assured, Rodon will pitch for the Yankees this season. There’s no reason to be concerned unless the back stiffness doesn’t improve. At this point, Boone seems to think it’s minor.
In the meantime, New York is unfortunately stuck with Domingo German and Clarke Schmidt until Carlos Rodon and Luis Severino are ready. It doesn’t help that Frankie Montas is still recovering from shoulder surgery and won’t be back until after the All-Star Break.
But Rodon is that important to the Yankees this year and they’ll take it slow with him. He’s basically a secondary ace to Gerrit Cole. Nobody likes to wait, but he’ll be well worth it.