New York Yankees starting pitcher Carlos Rodon wants fans to know he shares their frustrations regarding the disappointing season he and the club endured through September.
“I don’t want to sugarcoat anything,” Rodon directly said about Yankees fans during a conversation with Randy Miller of NJ Advance Media for NJ.com. “I don’t want to butter them up or anything. They probably don’t want to hear that. They just want to know I’m going to show up. I want to make every start next year. I have to think about this. I don’t know what I want to say to the fans. I’ll say this: I’m disappointed in my year, but I have five more to prove myself.”
Rodon signed a six-year, $162M contract to join the Yankees last offseason but didn’t make his official club debut until July due to forearm and back issues. The 30-year-old then struggled when healthy and went viral when he blew a kiss toward a jeering Yankees fan after he failed to impress at the Los Angeles Angels on July 19.
Heading into Friday night’s start at the Kansas City Royals, Rodon held a 3-7 record with a 5.74 ERA across 13 starts and 64.1 innings of work this season.
“I better pitch 200 innings,” Rodon responded when asked if he could hit such a goal next season. “They’re paying me $27M a year, bro! Let’s be real.”
Rodon’s absences and performances are at least somewhat to blame for the fact that the Yankees were eliminated from the postseason last weekend and will enter October with uncertainty hovering over the franchise.
All-Star slugger and captain Aaron Judge has made it known he wants Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner to retain manager Aaron Boone, but it was reported Wednesday that there could “be ‘massive’ changes in the way the Yankees do business in 2024.” It’s unclear what those changes could mean for Boone’s future.
“Everything’s easy when things are going great, right? Anybody can handle that,” Rodon said. “But what kind of guy are you when the s— hits the fan?”
How Steinbrenner and senior vice president/general manager Brian Cashman answer Rodon’s question will determine if the Yankees play meaningful baseball next October after they made the playoffs each year from 2017 through 2022.