If the New York Yankees want to sign Carlos Rodón, they are going to have to make significant changes to their initial contract proposal for the left-handed starting pitcher.
Per Jon Heyman of the New York Post, there is a "sizable gap" between what the Yankees offered and what Rodón is seeking in free agency.
It's unclear what New York's offer was, but Heyman noted Rodón is believed to be after a deal of at least seven years and $30 million per season.
Rodón is arguably the top remaining free agent after Carlos Correa agreed to a 13-year, $350 million deal with the San Francisco Giants, per ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Certainly, Rodón is the best pitcher still on the market. Heyman noted the two-time All-Star remains the Yankees' top priority, and the two sides "are expected to work on potential compromises over the next few days."
After getting Aaron Judge to agree to a nine-year, $360 million to remain in the Bronx, starting pitching seemed like it should be a priority for the team. They lost Jameson Taillon, who ranked second on the team with 177.1 innings in 2022, to the Chicago Cubs in free agency.
Nestor Cortes Jr. had a breakout season with a 2.44 ERA, but he threw nearly as many innings in 2022 (158.1) as he did in the previous four seasons combined (172).
Luis Severino pitched well last season with a 3.18 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 19 starts, but it was also the first time he broke the 100-inning barrier since 2018.
Rodón is a player who also comes with significant risk. He only made 11 appearances total in two seasons from 2019-20 and had a 5.74 ERA during that span.
Since the start of 2021, however, Rodón ranks third among all pitchers with at least 300 innings pitched in FanGraphs wins above replacement (11.1) and fourth in ERA (2.67). He has made the All-Star team and finished in the top six in Cy Young voting in both seasons.
A rotation led by Rodón and Gerrit Cole would be very formidable in the regular season and postseason. The Yankees are all-in to win right now after paying to bring back Judge and Anthony Rizzo.
If there's any way for the Yankees to close the gap with Rodón, they need to make it work because he would fill a huge need for them as they chase a World Series appearance in 2023.