Aug
25

Cashman: ‘I haven’t thought about’ Kuroda

By

Last night, as the Yanks went about bombing the Blue Jays, Ken Rosenthal let slip an interesting tidbit: The Yankees, rival executives said to him, would be all over a Hiroki Kuroda claim were the Dodgers’ right-hander to reach them on the waiver wire. For just the $2.5 million remaining on Kuroda’s contract, the Yanks could have a three-win Type B pitcher who would significantly shore up the back end of their rotation. What’s not to like about the idea?

There is but one problem though: Brian Cashman says the Yankees aren’t interested in Kuroda. ESPN New York’s Wallace Matthews pinged Cashman with a query on the Japanese hurler, and the Yanks’ GM shot down the rumors. “What we got is what we’re going with. I anticipate we are going to use the alternatives we have here, he said, referring to Dustin Moseley and Ivan Nova.

Of course, Cashman doesn’t really have the ability to see more and doing so would overplay the Yanks’ hand. First, to express interest in Kuroda right now would be akin to tampering. The Yanks cannot openly covet a player on another team. Second, by letting slip their interest, Cashman would all but assure another team ahead of them on the waiver line would move to block a deal. Since the Yanks are dead last in the Majors when it comes to waiver priority on Kuroda, the stars have to align for the Yanks to land him.

The Yanks’ GM though had more to say on the subject: “I haven’t thought about him. I don’t even know if he’s on waivers yet. Besides, I’d be hard-pressed to find a pitcher on the waiver wire who can pitch better for us than Dustin Moseley has.”

Brian Cashman is no fool, but he seems to be trying to pull a fast one on other teams. Dustin Moseley is 4-2 with a 4.53 ERA, but how well has he truly pitched? In 45.2 innings, he’s allowed 44 hits but has an ugly 23:18 K:BB rate. He’s allowing nearly two home runs per 9 innings pitched and sports a FIP of 5.97. He’s stranded nearly 80 percent of base runners, a mark nearly 10 percent above league average, and his WAR is -0.3. Forget the waiver wire; the Yanks could probably find someone who can pitch as good as, if not better than, Dustin Moseley in AAA.

“I’m not even thinking along those terms because right now I’m not interested in adding anyone,” Cashman said to Matthews. “I like the team we have and I think we have what it takes to get the job done.”

That may be so. Perhaps the Yanks’ budget is tapped out. Perhaps they don’t have the $2.7 million to spend on Kuroda. Perhaps they’re just holding their cards close to their chest knowing that Kuroda may not fall to them otherwise. But perhaps Cashman wouldn’t have spilled the beans to Matthews if they were interested in Kuroda. Don’t let Brian fool you though; interested or not, the Yankees with Hiroki Kuroda are better than the Yanks without him.

  • Carlosologist

    Kuroda wears 18. How much do you want to bet he takes that if/when he gets to the Boogie Down?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      That alone makes me like this move even more.

  • bonestock94

    Ninja status

  • Ted Nelson

    Good analysis of the situation.

    Will be interesting to see what happens.

    Obviously can’t say he’s interested and even if he is interested he might not be lying since he might anticipate Kuroda getting claimed before the Yanks have a shot.

  • YankeesJunkie

    If the Yankees somehow land Kuroda that would be a huge boost for the rotation and 2.7 million is not bad if the Yankees win the WS and all the extra revenue pours in.

  • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen R.

    The part that I love about this is Cashman acting like he has no idea if Kuroda is on the waiver wire. Uh huh, sure thing buddy.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Fidel Castro: May I see this trillion-dollar bill?
      Mr. Burns: See with your eyes, not with your hands!
      Fidel Castro: Please! We are all amigos here!
      Homer: Mr. Burns, I think we can trust the President of Cuba!
      (Mr. Burns reluctantly hands over the money)
      Mr. Burns: Now give it back.
      Fidel Castro: (empty hands folded at lap) Give what back?

  • Kevin G.

    I now fully expect Kuroda to be in pinstripes by the end of August.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      We’ll take him for cash and the rights to Jamie Hoffmann back.

      They’ll be so happy to take the cash, they’ll sign off on the deal without even realizing they already *got* Jamie Hoffmann’s rights back.

  • Frank

    I think you need to cut Mosely some slack. All things considered, he’s done a decent job. After all, he’s just filling in until Pettitte returns. I certainly wasn’t expecting him to pich lights out. He is what he is – a serviceable back up starter who is 4-2 and for the most part, has given the Yanks a chance to win in his starts. Besides, even if the Yanks were to somehow obtain Kuroda, there’s no assurance he wouuld do any better.

    • Bill in Boston

      Agreed. This goes along with some interpretation of the statistics.
      If you ask the question has he pitched well for a 5th/5th starter? The answer is yes. His ERA is 4.53 and his WHIP is 1.358.

      If you ask the question will he continue to pitch well? Well, that’s an entirely different question and where advanced metrics such as FIP tRA etc come in. And the answer would be it doesn’t look promising.

      • Bill in Boston

        5TH/6TH Starter… ugh

      • Ted Nelson

        Also, while there are no assurances of anything in life, I would definitely expect Kuroda to be a better pitcher than Moseley because he was always been a better pitcher than Moseley…

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        I’d rather have what Moseley has done with the record, era, innings than have great peripherals and a 6.54 ERA and 2-4 record. He likely won’t keep it going, but so far he has certainly gotten the job done even if it has taken a lot of luck.

        • Ted Nelson

          Who is 2-4 with a 6.54 ERA?

          • Bill in Boston

            no one. he’s giving a hypothetical.

            It’s just an interpretation of past performance vs. future performance

            Agreed though that Kuroda is an upgrade over Moseley. But is paying for that 2.7 million worth the upgrade when Kuroda won’t sniff a post-season start.

            • Ted Nelson

              Not my money… But I seriously think he might be. A 6 game lead is solid, but hardly safe. It’s a bit more than a 1% increase in payroll to get what you can reasonably expect to be a significantly better starter. Kuroda could compete with Nova to take Javy’s spot if he can’t bounce back or Hughes’ if the Yankees are getting worried about his work load leading up to the post-season. Of course, I don’t know how much you discount NL West numbers with a move to the AL East.

              • Ted Nelson

                When I say 6 game lead I obviously mean on a playoff spot, but there is also a theoretical value to winning your division and having home-field the first two rounds. Not sure how much it is. Every game counts in the race with the (Devil) Rays for sure.

                • Bill in Boston

                  Agreed. I think in conclusion:

                  Kuroda > Moseley

                  He gives us a better chance to win the division.

                  It’s up to management to decide if that better chance is worth the 2.7 million.

                  Moseley has been serviceable so far but the future is uncertain.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        If you ask the question will he continue to pitch well? Well, that’s an entirely different question and where advanced metrics such as FIP tRA etc come in. And the answer would be it doesn’t look promising.

        And that’s the point Ben was making. Moseley’s pitched to a good result, but he hasn’t pitched “well” in and of itself and we can’t expect the good disconnect between his pitching and his results to continue going forward.

  • nyyankfan7

    “First, to express interest in Kuroda right now would be akin to tampering. The Yanks cannot openly covet a player on another team.”

    If this is true how come this morning there were headlines saying that Kenny Williams, the White Sox GM, said that they would claim Manny if he were to hit waivers?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Those headlines never explicitly quoted Kenny Williams saying anything. They all attribute “league sources” claiming that the Sox will take Manny.

      • Esteban

        I dunno, I thought I saw Kenny Williams talking about Manny. Something to the effect of “How bad can someone be in the clubhouse if they’re only here for a month”. On the other hand, he may have never mentioned Manny by name.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Well, talking about him still isn’t saying “We’re interested in him and we openly covert him.”

          Cashman is talking about Kuroda, but he’s not saying “We want Kuroda and will claim him when he hits waivers.”

          • Sweet Dick Willie

            Oxymoron: “openly covert”

            Yeah yeah, I know it was just a typo. Typing ninja fast, those things will happen.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              Heh, that’s funny.

            • thurdonpaul

              post of the day winner !

    • Ed

      From MLBTR earlier today:

      White Sox GM Kenny Williams told reporters including Paul M. Banks of TheSportsBank that he has to “speak in generalities” about waiver claims.

      Anything specific is going to come from “anonymous sources inside the White Sox organization” or something like that.

  • Mike HC

    I believe that Cashman is not exactly dying to add Kuroda. And his production could probably be replicated with what the Yanks have in house. Assuming the Yanks would probably have to give up at least a decent prospect to get him, plus the money, plus the fact other teams may claim him, I believe Kuroda is not exactly the first thing on Cashman’s mind.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    Of course Rosenthal wasn’t wrong, he’ll just attribute this to his “source.”

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      One of my sources said the deal was imminent, but the other one said it wasn’t.

  • nsalem

    Rangers, Twins or Phils might very well pick him up first. Dustin isn’t pretty but he’s doing what he’s supposed to do. Also have had enough of “above average NL pitchers”. When will we learn.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Rangers and Twins, yes. Phils, I don’t see it, too much money.

      • nsalem

        Didn’t quite understand your reply. If you meant the Rangers and Twins are spenders I would agree. I think the only way the Yankees would have interest anyway is if they had a reason to believe Andy will not be healty by Mid-September.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          That’s what I’m saying. I think the Rangers and Twins would take on Kuroda’s salary, but the Phillies wouldn’t.

          Just my hunch.

    • Pete

      I wouldn’t say that he’s “doing what he’s supposed to do”. He’s certainly “done what he was supposed to do,” but whether or not he’ll continue that trend is a whole other story.

  • http://leegrantphotography.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/madmax.jpg gxpanos

    Sigh. No way Kuroda gets to the Yanks. The Curse of First. I think he’d be great for the stretch run.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    I’m not entirely sold on Kuroda and $2.7 million is a steep price. If it only cost money I would be on board but I wouldn’t even think about giving up a player for him.

    • Pete

      Players I’d part with for Kuroda:

      Kei Igawa
      Kei Igawa
      Kei Igawa
      Kei Igawa
      Kei Igawa

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        You’re right there. I don’t really consider him a player at this point, more of a mascot.

        • thurdonpaul

          yeah, and the yankees dont do mascot :)

  • Mattchu12

    In other news, the Yankees are happy with Bubba Crosby as their center fielder and Nick Swisher as their first baseman.