Carlos Rodón, newly shaved, puts on Yankees pinstripes

Carlos Rodón, newly shaved, puts on Yankees pinstripes


NEW YORK — As soon as he reached a deal with the New York Yankees last week, Carlos Rodón reached for a razor.

“I was like, do it. I might as well shave now because I know in a week if I tried to shave and I get razor bumps, it’s not going to look great,” the pitcher said.

Shaved again Thursday for a news conference at Yankee Stadium to discuss his six-year, $162 million contract, the 30-year-old left-hander appeared in a stadium without a beard for what he said was probably the first time since rookie ball. 2014

New York has a team rule against beards and long hair.

“You’re going to get used to it. There’s going to be days when you push the envelope a little bit and I have to come up to you and say, ‘What’s going on here?'” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said with a smile.

Rodón’s wife, children, parents and in-laws attended the new conference. His appearance was new to the children.

“I’m surprised they realized who it was,” he said.

Before accepting the contract, Rodón had received Venmo payments from fans hoping to pursue him to join their favorite club, many of them Yankees fans.

“I started sending them back,” he said, explaining how his wife pointed out that there were about 400 Venmos. At the suggestion of a cousin, they will give the money to a person in Indiana whose house burned down and who had no insurance.

“Yankees fans and all baseball fans, I appreciate you sending me Venmos,” Rodón said. “I don’t need the money, but we’ll give it to someone who needs it.”

Selected third overall by the Chicago White Sox in the 2014 amateur draft, Rodón struggled to stay on the field in his early major league seasons. Left wrist sprained in 2016, left biceps bursitis, left shoulder inflammation and arthroscopic shoulder surgery in 2017, left shoulder rehab in 2018, left elbow inflammation and Tommy John surgery in 2019, left shoulder pain and left shoulder fatigue in 2020 in 2021.

Chicago cut him after the 2020 season and then re-signed him for $3 million.

“It was definitely humbling,” he said. “Being non-tendered was definitely not in the plans, but something I understand from the business side. The performance wasn’t there at the time and the durability wasn’t there.”

Rodón went 13-5 with a 2.37 ERA in 2021, throwing a no-hitter against Cleveland and making his first All-Star team, then agreed to a two-year, $44 million contract with San Francisco. Rodón went 14-8 with a 2.88 ERA this year, striking out 237 in 178 innings, and elected to opt out of his contract.

“I can’t deny that he has an injury history before the last two seasons,” said general manager Brian Cashman, who tried to acquire Rodón from the Giants last summer. “Certainly the hope and belief is that he’s found his sweet spot here in the last couple of years that allows him to do what he does best and get the ball every five days.”

Rodón threw 61% fastballs last season, 31% sliders, 6% curveballs and 2% changeups.

“We don’t try to complicate things. Let’s just be stupid,” he said. “If it goes out, it goes out. It swings and misses, it swings and misses. Why change anything?”

Rodón receives a $5 million signing bonus payable within 30 days of MLB approval, a salary of $22 million next year and $27 million each remaining season. He joins a rotation headlined by Gerrit Cole and projected to include Nestor Cortes, Luis Severino and Frankie Montas.

Rodón was assigned the number 55 shirt, which Domingo Germán used since 2019, who remains in the squad.

“Carlos, we’re so confident you’re going to be successful here,” Yankees president Randy Levine said. “We are sorry. We’ve been watching you for a long time and we know you’ll be successful here.”

Rodón is 56-46 with a 3.60 ERA in 152 major league appearances over eight seasons. He has 947 strikeouts in 847 1/3 innings.

“I remember when you were coming out of NC State you were that guy that I think everybody saw how this guy is going to be a stud,” Boone said. “You’ve dealt with adversity in your career and become, I think, what a lot of people expected.”

NOTES: LHP Lucas Luetge was designated for assignment to open a roster spot for RHP Tommy Kahnle.

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