SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Last offseason, the Yankees made a splash by signing Carlos Rodon to a six-year, $162 million contract.
Nearly a yr later, they’re still waiting to reap the complete advantages of the pitcher they thought they were getting.
Rodon’s first season in The Bronx was derailed by injuries — he sustained a forearm muscle strain in spring training before back issues helped delay his debut until July — and within the 14 starts he did make, he recorded a 6.85 ERA.
The left-hander looked like he was starting to realize some traction in September before ending his yr on a brutal note when he gave up eight runs against the Royals without recording an out.
His velocity was down noticeably during that season finale, but general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday the Yankees imagine Rodon is healthy.
“I do know he’s frustrated concerning the yr,” Cashman said at the final managers’ meetings. “Obviously him getting out of the gate the way in which he did with the injury, at the very least our belief system on this issue — we’ve unpacked quite a bit — is that he ultimately never got online the way in which he and we might have hoped.
“This winter, leaving us healthy, being in a greater position now, understanding what he’s walking through in Latest York — not that that caused any of those issues — but I’m looking forward to him and others coming back being closer to what we expected than what we got.”
One other left-handed member of the rotation, Nestor Cortes, would also fall into that group.
Coming off an All-Star season in 2022, Cortes strained his hamstring while preparing for the World Baseball Classic on the eve of spring training.
He began the season on time but later indicated that rushing back from the hamstring issue can have led to the rotator cuff strain that landed him on the injured list in June (and nonetheless in August to finish his season early).
Cortes spent October continuing to accumulate in his throwing program to be sure his shoulder was stable heading into the offseason.
“Every little thing is top notch,” Cashman said. “So, we’re feeling really good about how he has responded and feels. So straight away, it’s full expectation that he’s a healthy player, able to go.”
While a Yankees reunion with free agent Jordan Montgomery this offseason seems unlikely — they traded him away on the 2022 deadline partially because they didn’t envision him being of their postseason rotation — the left-hander’s agent, Scott Boras, said they’re “taking all proposals from all teams.”
Montgomery is fresh off helping the Rangers win the World Series, posting a 2.90 ERA across six playoff outings.
“Owners are clamoring for us to, ‘Let’s make a deal on Jordan,’ ” Boras said. “I feel all owners are very aware that he’s worthy of a Monty Haul.”