Dec
15

Heyman: Yanks ‘seem to like Kuroda best’

By

As the Yanks await word of their bid on Yu Darvish and seemingly plan for a 2014 austerity budget in order to save a few million dollars, pitching is still a major concern. After CC Sabathia, the Four Horseman of A.J., Freddy, Phil and Ivan do not exactly scream out “confidence.” That’s one of the reasons why we’ve been keeping an eye on Hiroki Kuroda, the 36-year-old right-hander. Mike made the case for Kuroda in both May and December.

Still, as the free agent market remains at a standstill, the Yankees, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, like Kuroda best of the available pitchers. Unlike John Danks, for whom the White Sox asked for two of Dellin Betances, Jesus Montero and Manny Banuelos, Kuroda would cost only money and would likely to be willing to sign a shorter deal. We already know he’s willing to pitch on the East Coast, and the Yanks seem at least interested, if not eager, to have him.

Kuroda is a pitcher who could do well in Yankee Stadium. He gets strike outs and keeps the ball low. He’s been fairly durable too, throwing nearly 400 innings over the past two seasons. He earned $12 million last year and would likely be in line for a similar deal this year. To shore up a shaky rotation, the Yanks could do much, much worse.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League
  • mbonzo

    Yankees would probably only like Kuroda best if he agrees to a 1 year deal, that would give them the option to add Betances and Banuelos in 2013 or go after a big starter then. I don’t have much faith that Kuroda would settle for a 2 year deal though.

    • Paul from Boston

      Exactly. After Buerles deal why would Kuroda settle for one year?

      • Damix

        Why would Kerry Wood sign for less with the Cubs last year? There are definite outliers in the FA market, who value things more then money.

        Is Kuroda one of them? I don’t know, but he could be a player who would rather give it one last go then move back home and pitch in NPB.

        We’ll see, I wouldn’t count on a one year deal, but I wouldn’t rule it out either.

      • http://www.retire21.org first name only male – Retire 21

        Mark Buehrle is 32. Kuroda is 36.

        • Mister Delaware

          For real? First Ruslan Fedotenko and now Mark Buehrle end up being younger than me?

          • Cris Pengiucci

            Hate to be the one to tell you this, but there are many people younger than you. Unfortunately, I’m probably not one of them.

    • cranky

      Kuroda’s reportedly willing to sign a ONE year deal.

      • Plank

        Buerhle only wanted to play in the Midwest and Hampton signed with the Rockies because of the excellent public schools.

        • Plank

          Guerrero doesn’t want to play for a big market team.

    • MannyGeee

      I’d give him a 2/26 contract in a heartbeat.

  • Avi

    Lay out one tenth the commitment it would take to get Darvish and get similar results? Me like.

    • Ted Nelson

      Doubt it’s 1/10th with luxury tax considerations, Darvish would be a 5 or 6 yr deal vs. one year, and Darvish has far more upside. I think the value is pretty similar.

  • cranky

    Kuroda would be a terrific one-year addition.
    But everyone should keep in mind that the Yanks ended the 2011 season needing to find TWO more starters for their rotation.
    If they’re out of the Darvish sweepstakes, they ought to sign Kuroda AND deal for Danks. (And NO, I’m not advocating that they give away Manny or Jesus!)

    • RetroRob

      The Yankees could enter 2012 without any new starters and be competitive because they have good depth going down to AAA. Signing two solid starters would be good, but not that easy. If Kuroda is the only one, that’ll be fine.

    • Patrick Oliver

      You shouldn’t include Dellin Betances either.

  • http://twitter.com/Carlosologist_7 Carlosologist

    Hire Hiroki! I’d still rather have Darvish though. The potential is so amazing to think of.

    • Avi

      The bust potential is also pretty amazing to think of.

      • CMP

        Faint heart never won fair maiden.

      • Thomas Cassidy

        I think his bust potential is probably higher than his amazing potential.

        • CMP

          No higher than the bust potential of Banuelos or Betances. Far less than either of those two actually.

          • Avi

            Which is exactly why I would never give either of those two $100mm.

            • whozat

              You (the Yanks) wouldn’t be giving Darvish that much either.

              Money is the Yankees’ biggest advantage. It is the one resource they have WAY more of than anyone else, and it’s about to get a lot harder for them to leverage due to the new CBA. They should do everything they can to wring every last bit of advantage out of this resource.

            • CMP

              They gave $47 million to a guy with the ceiling of a #5 starter in Igawa and $88 million to a guy who pitched like a #3 for one year and a #5 for the last 2 and probably next 2 in Burnett. $100 million for a potential #1 seems a worthwhile risk to me.

              • Avi

                Only when they gave the money to Burnett and Igawa they thought they were getting a #2 pitchers.

                • CMP

                  I never read one scouting report about Igawa projecting him as anything more than a back of the rotation starter or lefty reliever so you’re wrong about that.

                • whozat

                  I don’t think the Yankees thought that Burnett would pitch like a #2 for the duration of the deal. I think they thought they’d get maybe two years of #2 – #3 production and then several of lesser production and/or injury. I think they knew they were going pretty much all-in for 2009. I doubt they expected him to be THIS terrible, but the notion that they expected 5 years of #2 production from AJ is silly.

                  And, no. No one ever thought Igawa was going to be anything more than a back-end starter.

                • Need Pitching

                  Igawa was never projected higher than a #4

  • Gonzo

    This would be nice.

  • Duke

    When Kuroda takes the mound I’m going to pretend he’s Darvish.

  • Wow

    See, this is the Yankees’ bread and butter: throwing money around. It’s cool if you are being stingy with your prospects ’cause, honestly, there’s a lot of potential there. But when they also start to be stingy with the money, thats at least cause for concern. I’m not saying just waste all kinds of money on anyone with an arm and five fingers, but be willing to take risks with the cash. After all, that’s where their edge lies.

    On another note, I’m confused as to the hopes of splurging in next year’s free agent pitching class. If this year they are being so optimistic about the prospects, why would they be willing to spend big on a FA when the high ceiling prospects are one year closer to making a real impact?

    • Ted Nelson

      Kuroda is not going to be cheap. They will be throwing a whole lot of money around if they sign him. He’ll probably make over a quarter of the Rays total payroll.

      The Yankees are optimistic about their prospects’ chances, but that doesn’t mean things will go as they anticipate. They might all have terrible seasons and not be a year closer to anything. Hughes and Burnett might bounce back, or they might not. However the current guys do, the Yankees might just feel Hamels or whoever else is a better value than Darvish.

      And… the Yankees might already have submitted the winning bid on Darvish. “Modest” is a nebulous term. A billionaire living a “modest” lifestyle is usually not modest at all by any normal standard. The Yankees are the richest team, so “modest” to them might beat the Blue Jays best efforts. After Dice-K, if the Yankees really wanted to win Darvish badly they should have bid at least $50 million.

  • BK2ATL

    Kuroda on a 1 year deal would be a solid move. CC, Kuroda, Nova, Hughes/Burnett, Garcia, with Noesi a phone call away would be an upgrade over 2011, esp. if Kuroda pitches to form, Nova continues to improve, and Hughes stays healthy and effective. Burnett, no comment.

  • Gary Sartori

    The last thing the Yankees need is an aging pitcher. Jurrgens, Gonzalez or even Danks would be a better pickup.

    • whozat

      …at what cost? You can’t make a meaningful comparison without accounting for what it costs to acquire the players, and what commitment you’re making to them.

      If it’s a 1 year deal, Kuroda’s age is pretty irrelevant, especially if it means you get to keep all of Banuelos, Betances and Montero.

    • FIPster Doofus

      The last thing the Yankees need is an aging pitcher on a long-term deal. Kuroda would be a one- or two-year stopgap. Nothing wrong with that at all. I’d rather see the Yanks sign him than part with assets for Gonzalez or Jurrjens. Besides, Kuroda > Jurrjens, and it’s a very makeable case that he’s also better than Gio.

      • MannyGeee

        he’s at least been as good as Gio. That I would agree with.

        and oh by the way, he has a tendency to be consistent. and healthy

  • Gary Sartori

    I don’t want an aging pitcher getting tired come playoff time when the team is really going to need him. Both Colon and Garcia got tired at the end of the season last year.

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      This “age” thing is stupid…there are several good pitchers in their mid-late 30′s: Chris Carpenter, Roy Oswalt, Mariano Rivera, Tim Hudson, Roy Halladay, to name a few.

      • Patrick Oliver

        Mo Rivera’s pitching at 40 now. He’s the ML career saves leader with 603 (602 set the record).

    • DSFC

      Colon got tired? Perhaps that was more a function of his not having made it through a complete MLB season in 5 or so years rather than his age?

      • MannyGeee

        ummmm, Colon got tired because he was in mid-season form by the time he got to the big club in April. On account of him having pitched in the Dominican League all winter.

        or, he’s old, because the narrative fits.

    • Mick

      I don’t believe the problem was “tired pitchers” in the playoffs last year. If you watched the same games I did, you would see it was more like tired bats.

      • suzynandjohnslovechild

        Let’s not pretend the pitching was all that great…yes nova gave us one good start but the other good start was a miracle game by the head case which I am sure nobody puts any stock into. The performance of the pitching in the alds does nothing for my confidence going forward and had they advanced to the alcs I doubt the results would have been the same

  • mike c

    save a few million dollars? I thought it was more like $50 million in savings

    • KL

      It should be named SYFS. Spoiled Yankee Fan Syndrome. A lot of sufferers here.

  • forensic

    Which one of the stages of grief includes embarrassment at how so many Yankee fans can’t drop or deal with the obviously world-ending notion of trying to win baseball games with a payroll under $189 million? You can’t read a post/comment thread on here without some sort of mention of it, which is sort of ironic given how prospect-huggy some of the posters here are, who if they got their way with prospects playing all the time would inevitably lead to a lower payroll.

    Clearly, no team with a payroll under that has ever won a game or World Series before…

    • RetroRob

      Good point, outside of what you stated is extreme. Fans wanting both is perfectly normal. Not understanding that is not normal.

  • Qqqqq

    Kuroda+Cespedes+Soler=successful winter

    I’m a big Darvish fan and I still hope it turns out the Yanks have been lying through their teeth, but it sounds like the Blue Jays have gotten ridiculous. I’ll gladly take a solid #3 and some young 5-tool guys as consolation. Kuroda won’t give us an amazing rotation, but it at least gives a defined post-season rotation of Sabathia, Nova, and Kuroda. If Hughes bounces back even better, and plenty of guys in his situation have. I just don’t want to see Freddy in the post-season again. As much as I like him, it’s just not a good sign when he’s out there.

    • Patrick Oliver

      Sorry, but “Soler”?

  • your mom

    Shit. Just sign Kuroda already before everyone else who loses out on Darvish gets in on him too.

    Phils might not be able to afford Hamels next year.

    • MannyGeee

      thats the problem, mom. I am willing to bet he is holding tight until some other names come off the board in order to increase his leverage. makes a ton of sense, no?

  • UYF1950

    On a one year deal Kuroda would seem to fit the Yankees needs almost perfectly. He wouldn’t take up payroll past this upcoming season. Freeing up the Yankees to make a push for one of the premier 2013 FA that as it stands right now should be available. Plus there is no doubt he would be an upgrade in the rotation for 2012. He doesn’t walk a lot, his strike out numbers are good and he has a decent GB rate. As for him turning 37 this February that shouldn’t be an issue on a 1 year deal. In fact realistically that’s probably the only deal he’s going to get turning 37.
    Gazing into the crystal ball that would probably allow the Yankees to eat a portion of AJ’s salary and trade him in his 1 remaining year (2013) with the Yankees. Then the Yankees would have 2 open spots in the rotation come 2013. One for as I said previously the 2013 FA’s and one hopefully for Banuelos.

  • RobC

    what about other international FA such as Chen Wei-yin or Hisashi Iwakuma?
    Probably # 3 or 4 types but only cost $

  • Fin

    HOw bout…they are going to go whith the 8 pitchers they have. I mean i see on this site all the time that the Yankees dont give their young players a chance. I think they are going to get it this year. Noessi, Phleps, warren, ect.. They have possible number 3′s all over the place. None of them are sure things, but either is Kuroda comming from the NL. Hughes, Burnett, Garcia..the guys in AAA will get their chance, and I’m fine with it. Seems to me they have enough shit to throw against the wall that something is bound to stick.

  • soam

    Kuroda is a good stopgap option, but with the potentially great sp’s on next years market I’d pause at giving him more than 1 year. I’d rather significantly overpay on a 1 year deal. Give him 18m in 2012 with a 2013 team option for $13m and a 1.5m buyout. Would be hard for him to turn that down unless someone could guarantee him 3 years.

  • dean

    The thought is that Kuroda prefers one year deals so he can go home to japan when he’s ready

  • nycsportzfan

    I just hope if it comes down to money The yanks make sure to not let that get in the way and give em what it takes to get him here on a 1 or even 2yr deal! Kuroda would be a sensational asset to have and i woulden’t be surprised if he won between 17-20 games The yanks could truly be Title Contenders and not just Playoff Contenders with a 1-3 of CC/Kuroda/nova I hope they dont underestimate how big this guy could be for us Hes really good! Very underrated!

  • theyankeewarrior

    Please sign

  • JohnC

    Would Kuroda cost a draft pick?

    • Hey Now

      The Dodgers didn’t offer him arbitration, so no draft choice involved.

  • Doug

    Well, now that it looks like Darvish is going to the Jays, let’s move on Kuroda. One year (at $12-14M), plus a mutual option sounds about right to me.

  • Pat D

    Heyman also tweeted that Kuroda is a pleasant man.

    • http://bassoprofundo1.blogspot.com/ ColoYank

      Over dinner and dancing?

      Sorry.

  • Bronx Byte

    Kuroda is the answer while Betances and Banuelos get a full year at AAA. He and Noesi will push Burnett to the back of nowhere.

  • CJ

    How long does the 2014 austerity plan last if the Yankees dont make the playoffs next year? Tampa/Boston/yanks Detroit angels/Texas. 2 don’t play in October.

  • CJ

    Playing 3 game series against shields, price, Moore, hellickson. Lester, Beckett, bucholz. Romero, Darvish. The losses can add up quickly. Kuroda doesn’t make me feel any better about those matchups.

    • http://www.twitter.com/brandonholley B-Rando

      How about Gardner/Swisher/Granderson/Cano/ARod/Teix/Jeter/Montero/Martin??

      Makes me feel a little more confident.

    • Ted Nelson

      Again, games are not played on paper. How many people can correctly project playoff teams at the beginning of the season? How many people predicted the Red Sox would miss the playoffs in 2011? How many predicted the Diamondbacks would make them in 2011? Here were ESPN’s “expert” picks for 2011 to give you an idea: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....xpertpicks

      The losses could always add up quickly. Any team could miss the playoffs.

    • FIPster Doofus

      You’re really ridiculous.

  • matt

    i don’t think its safe to say that nova will duplicate or improve on his season last year with any conviction. He had a great year last year, esp after being called up again but we have seen a ton of pitchers have solid rookie years and were unable to make the same adjustments that the hitters made. I sincerely hope he does but memories of gustavo chacin, zach duke and so many others can’t let me feel like his production next year is anywhere near guaranteed. He seems solid mentally and i hope for the yanks sake he does. what do you do if he regresses and AJ is AJ and Hughes is what Hughes has been? Do you feel confident in Garcia having the same success? The Yanks have made it clear that The B’s and Montero are not being moved for anyone (other than for probably 3-4 guys) and i think that’s the smart move. A danks or a gio would be great to have… but not for any of the players it would cost (at the moment) to get them. But any way they go, there’s a huge gamble in every scenario from the success of the kids to if notbale 2012 SP FAs get extended.. ok so insult away fellas

    • Ted Nelson

      I don’t think there’s anything to insult. Your points are valid, I just think they need to be viewed with a wider perspective.

      The biggest thing is that the Yankees don’t need CC, AJ, Garcia, Hughes, Nova, Noesi, Kuroda/Darvish, Phelps, Warren, Banuelos, or Betances to work out. They just need 5 of them to give them a solid rotation. The depth is key. Maybe they get by with two studs and three #5 starters. Maybe they get by with five #3 starters.
      A lot can go wrong and they can still be ok. Which has been the case with Burnett, Javy, Hughes, Pettitte’s injury… in the last couple of years. They could get really bad luck and have nothing work out, but that’s also a risk. Maybe a higher risk for the Yankees, but if Halladay and Lee both get hurt… Phillies are probably pretty screwed.

      Nova’s production is no where near guaranteed, but part of it comes down to scouting. One guy might have had a flukish rookie year due to pure BABIP luck or the scouting report not having caught up with his stuff until later in the season. Nova changed his pitches. He developed a far better slider and used the change a lot less. Again, not a guarantee of success. Changes the odds a bit, though.

      Hughes has been the effective starter in the the first half of 2010, the guy who couldn’t hit 90 with a mysterious shoulder problem, and points in between. So it’s hard to say what Phil Hughes will be doing if he’s what he’s been.

  • paul

    would love kuroda over darvish. cc, kuroda, phil, aj, nova, garcia would be an okay 6 by me for 5 spots. next summer: cain danks and bring up banuelos and betances…darvish money is crazy. would love a king felix deal but go with what works.

  • http://aandecili@comcast.net tono74

    i been reading all the comment’s on “Is This Bombers New Top Target”?some like the deals,some don’t.one thing i was looking for which no-one comment on was,”Cashman”!!lets not forget Cashman.he is doing the same thing this yr.as he did last yr.& that is sit tight until everything that is worth while taken befor he makes a move.then he will sign anybody that is not using a walker to get around..keep the kids down on the farm until they reach 36 yrs.old & or put them all into a package deal for one 36yr.old.sit tight,Christmas is around the corner & Cashman has a surprise for all Yankees fans.remember,u heard it 1st.rgt.here.