Just In: Yankees banking on 2 big-time pitchers to bounce back in 2024…

The New York Yankees will have one of the best starting rotations in baseball if they can add Yoshinobu Yamamoto in free agency. It will cost them a pretty penny as reports suggest Yamamoto could make $250 million on the open market, if not more.

However, the Yankees currently have two players on the roster ready to bounce back after a disappointing 2023 season. In particular, 31-year-old left-handed starter Carlos Rodon is having his worst season in the MLB. He threw just 64.1 innings, hosting a 6.85 ERA, a 5.79 FIP, including 8.95 strikeouts per nine, a career-low 60.5% left-field percentage and groundball percentage by 27.1%. His home runs per nine increased to 2.10, another career high. Ultimately, several injuries derailed his season and his confidence waned as frustration grew. The Yankees need Carlos Rodon to pull his weightIf the Yankees don’t bring Rodon back at full strength, he could pocket another $162 million after signing a six-year contract. Rodon is coming off two dominant seasons, most notably a career-best 178 innings with the San Francisco Giants in 2022. His ERA was 2.88, strikeouts per nine increased to 12 and he had a left-on-base percentage of 75 .1% and 34.1. Ground ball percentage. Getting Rodon’s 2022 draft pick would significantly strengthen the rotation, especially if they land Yamamoto. They would have one of the most lethal top three starters in baseball, but that’s a big if. The Yankees would rely on an injury-prone pitcher to return to full strength and a player who has never pitched an inning in the MLB to immediately become an ace. Many believe that Yoshinobu will adapt quickly as he is 25 years old and dominates the JPPL. Another left arm that can make an impactAnother left-handed starter looking for a return is Nestor Cortes. Cortes has two years of arbitration left before hitting free agency in 2026.At an affordable price, Cortes has the ability to be a fantastic mid-rotation starter. The 28-year-old suffered a rotator cuff strain in 2023, limiting him to just 63.1 innings pitched and a 4.97 ERA. He hopes to turn back the clock and repeat his All-Star performance in 2022, when he posted a 2.44 ERA in 158.1 innings.Cortes has bad stuff and when his confidence is at its highest, he is one of the best pitchers on the team. However, no one can ignore a rotator cuff injury in his throwing arm, so it’s no surprise that Cortes struggled last year. The Yankees are still confident he will provide substantial value, but staying healthy is the message for both Rodon and Cortes. Their health will ultimately determine their 2024 season.

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