Carlos Rodón, newly shaved, puts on Yankees pinstripes

Dec 21, 2022, 5:38 PM | Updated: Dec 22, 2022, 12:04 pm
New York Yankees' Carlos Rodon speaks during his introductory baseball news conference at Yankee St...

New York Yankees' Carlos Rodon speaks during his introductory baseball news conference at Yankee Stadium, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

NEW YORK (AP) — As soon as he struck an agreement with the New York Yankees last week, Carlos Rodón reached for a razor.

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

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

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

“You’ll get used to it. There’ll be days you push the envelope a little bit and I got to walk 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 look was new for the kids.

“I am surprised they noticed who I was,” he said.

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

“I started to send them back,” he said, recounting how his wife pointed out 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 did not have insurance.

“Yankees fans and all fans of baseball, I appreciate you guys sending me Venmos,” Rodón said. “I don’t need the money, but we’re going to give it to someone that does need the money.”

Selected third by the Chicago White Sox in the 2014 amateur draft, Rodón struggled to stay on the field in his early big league seasons. He was sidelined by a sprained left wrist in 2016, left biceps bursitis, left shoulder inflammation and arthroscopic shoulder surgery in 2017, left shoulder rehabilitation in 2018, left elbow inflammation and Tommy John surgery in 2019, left shoulder soreness in 2020 and left shoulder fatigue in 2021.

Chicago cut him after the 2020 season, 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 a business aspect. 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, pitching a no-hitter against Cleveland and making his first All-Star team, then agreed to a $44 million, two-year contract with San Francisco. Rodón went 14-8 with a 2.88 ERA this year, striking out 237 in 178 innings, and opted out of his contract.

“I can’t deny that he has a history of injuries prior to 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 two years that allows him to do what he does best and take that ball every five days.”

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

“Let’s not try to complicate things. Let’s keep it simple stupid,” he said. “If it gets outs, it gets outs. It gets swing and miss, it gets swing and miss. Why change something?”

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

Rodón was assigned jersey No. 55, which had been used since 2019 by Domingo Germán — who remains on the roster.

“Carlos, we are so convinced that you are going to succeed here,” Yankees President Randy Levine said. “We feel it. We’ve been looking at you for a long time and we know you’re going to succeed 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 do remember when you were coming out of N.C. State that you were that guy that I think everyone kind of viewed as this guy is going to be a stud,” Boone said. “You’ve dealt with adversity already in your career and have turned into, 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.

__

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - In this Oct. 20, 2019 file photograph, a Ford logo is displayed at a Ford dealership in Litt...
Associated Press

Ford returns to Formula One in partnership with Red Bull

Ford will return to Formula One as the engine provider for Red Bull Racing in a partnership announced Friday that begins with immediate technical support this season and engines in 2026. Red Bull powertrains and Ford will partner on the development of a hybrid power unit that will supply engines to both Red Bull and […]
1 day ago
Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie hoists the George Halas Trophy after the NFC Championship N...
Associated Press

Anaysis: Eagles weren’t afraid to make difficult decisions

The Philadelphia Eagles are playing for another Super Bowl title because they weren’t afraid to make difficult decisions following a disastrous 2020 season. Just three years after hoisting the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in franchise history, the organization was at a crossroads following a 4-11-1 finish in the pandemic-altered season. Philadelphia had gone […]
1 day ago
FILE - A woman passes by the Olympic rings at the City Hall in Paris, on  July 25, 2022. Latvia is ...
Associated Press

Ukraine steps up efforts to exclude Russia from Olympics

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine stepped up efforts Friday to lobby international sports leaders against Russian participation in next year’s Paris Olympics as indications mount that the games could see the biggest boycott since the Cold War. A meeting of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee did not commit to a boycott but approved plans to consult […]
1 day ago
Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives up court past Maryland guard Bri McDaniel (24) during the seco...
Associated Press

Caitlin Clark scores 42, No. 6 Iowa tops No. 8 Maryland

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Caitlin Clark scored 42 points and Monika Czinano had 28 as No. 6 Iowa defeated No. 8 Maryland 96-82 on Thursday night. Clark, who entered second in the nation in scoring at 27.1 points per game, was 13 of 19 from the field, including 6 for 11 on 3-pointers. She […]
1 day ago
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, centre, attends a joint news conference with Latvian Prime Min...
Associated Press

Baltic leaders: Olympic boycott possible if Russians compete

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The prime ministers of the three Baltic countries urged the International Olympic Committee to ban Russian athletes from next year’s Paris Games because of the war in Ukraine, saying Friday a boycott was a possibility. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said athletes from her country could be put in a situation […]
1 day ago
FILE - Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of High Priestess, lights the torch with the...
Associated Press

Olympic flame to take seaborne journey to 2024 Paris Games

MARSEILLE, France (AP) — The Olympic flame is going for a sail. Instead of arriving overland, the symbolic flame alighting the 2024 Paris Games will take to the seas from its birthplace in Greece, arriving aboard a three-masted tall ship in the French port of Marseille. Paris organizers announced the flame’s journey on Friday at […]
1 day ago
Carlos Rodón, newly shaved, puts on Yankees pinstripes