Kuroda “now definitely willing” to pitch on the East Coast

Imagining David Robertson as a starter
The price for Gio Gonzalez

Via David Waldstein, Hiroki Kuroda is “now definitely willing” to pitch for a team on the East Coast. His preference for the West Coast is no secret, but the Dodgers’ effectively slammed the door on his return by signing both Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang. He’s reportedly seeking $12-13M a year, which the Yankees see as a tough fit financially according to Joel Sherman.

Obviously the price has to be right, but Kuroda makes a ton of sense for the Yankees given their rotation questions. He shouldn’t require a long-term deal at age 36 (37 in February) and is a true power pitcher with three offerings (91-95 heat, slider, splitter). As Waldstein mentions, the Yankees might have a bit of advantage in Russell Martin, who caught Kuroda for the first three years of his MLB career and presumably knows the right-hander well.

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Imagining David Robertson as a starter
The price for Gio Gonzalez
  • CANO FAN #1

    10M One year. Done

    • Paul from Boston

      Yeah, that’s not happening.

    • Leg-End

      11/1 max, 1 year is ideal.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        I like the eleven years, $1M idea better.

        • Leg-End

          Moneyball 2.0

  • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

    Wait, so if Kuroda for $12-$13M a year for one or two years is a “tough fit financially” then does the same apply for Darvish?

    • Dan

      the investment in Darvish would be more, no doubt about it, but you are also getting a 25 year old pitcher with tremendous upside. Kuroda, while a decent option, isn’t a #2 in the AL. Darvish could be. You pay for upside and youth. Thankfully the Yankees have the resources to pay for it…

  • Dropped Third Superstar

    20m 2 year deal seems inline for him however 1 year would be sweeeet

    • Paul from Boston

      Yeah, that’s not happening either. Think 3 and 39.

  • FIPster Doofus

    How is a short-term deal worth around $12 million a year a tough financial fit? I don’t get it.

    • Paul from Boston

      Because he’s not worth even that much. He’s a league average pitcher.

      • FIPster Doofus

        He’s better than average.

        • Thomas Cassidy

          Not when you factor in that he plays in the worst offensive divison in baseball.

          • FIPster Doofus

            Still better than average.

            • Thomas Cassidy

              Again, not when you factor in that he plays in the worst offensive division in baseball.

              In the AL East, he’s a number four, a three at absolute best.

              • FIPster Doofus

                He’s a good starting pitcher. The Yankees don’t have enough of those. Period.

              • bonestock94

                How could you even say that with such confidence, do you know down to the tenth of a point what his FIP translates to in the AL East or something? Clue us in to this magical metric.

  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

    If you want to punt on this year’s crop of pitchers and try your luck again next year (which isn’t the worst of ideas), a guy like Kuroda makes a TON of sense as someone who can hold down the fort in the rotation, gives the young guys an extra year of seasoning, and give the team an extra year to figure out what the rotation will look like long-term.

  • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

    Wants a multi-year deal, not good enough for a multi-year deal. Pass

    • Paul from Boston

      He’ll get a multi-year. Why wouldn’t he? Hell, with the way the Marlins are throwing cash around, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up there.

      • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

        Let me rephrase:

        He wants a multi-year deal, but he isn’t good enough for the Yankees to offer him a multi-year deal. Other teams may and probably should though.

  • nsalem

    Besides age why is Danks seen as a #2 and not Kuroda?

    • Greg

      Probably age and the fact that he pitched in the National League West

    • bonestock94

      I don’t understand how a pitcher with a career 4.14 FIP got the #2 label. Valuable pitcher absolutely, but that doesn’t scream front line to me.

  • Dave B

    I like the idea of Kuroda for one year for the back end of the rotation. Who knows, the Yankees may be looking at this guy as an important piece to adding Darvish to the squad. If it works out this way, he may be worth 10-12M.

  • Ethan

    Give him a little more than he deserves to get him for 1 year. Maybe 1 year at 15M? Then that frees you up for next year too.

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    Are we going crazy to give a pitcher of his caliber 12-15M a year. This to be a #4or 5 pitcher. I pass on him. I am sure that Noesi couuld do what this guy will do in the AL East for much less. Noesi will probably do a better job.

    • FIPster Doofus

      A four or five pitcher? Sabathia is the only Yankees starter who is definitely better than Kuroda.

    • Dave B

      I hear what you’re saying Jose, but I can’t imagine the Yankees keeping Burnett if they sign this guy. Noesi is probably slated to be a swing starter that could move into the rotation if Phil has trouble starting the year. I see other sites talking about the Yankees rotation being set and all that, but I don’t believe Cashman for a second — I don’t see them rolling the dice to start the year with CC-Nova-Burnett-Hughes-Garcia. Just my opinion, but not very logical.

      • Jose M. Vazquez..

        The thing is that Kuroda is 37 in Feb. and he has pitched in those cavernous parks SF,LA,SD for most of his career. He could have a.350 ERA in the NL which translates to .450 or more in the AL East. I’m saying that Noesi could do better than that. It is only my opinion. I have no factual proof.

        • JohnnyC

          If Kuroda is a 0.45 ERA in the AL East, he’s better than Pedro.

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    Are we going crazy to give a pitcher of his caliber 12-15M a year. This to be a #4or 5 pitcher. I pass on him. I am sure that Noesi could do what this guy will do in the AL East for much less. Noesi will probably do a better job. I believe the Yankees still have no faith in their own youngster.

    • nsalem

      I believe the Yankees still have no faith in their own youngster.

      Disagree, I seriously think the Yankees are willing to go into 2012 with what they have now and a couple of bargain bin pickups as they did last year, We won 97 games last year and now all the kids are one year closer. I myself would be perfectly happy myself if we went into next year without any major pick-ups.l

      • Jose M. Vazquez..

        I fully agree except on the Yankees’ faith in their young ones.

        • nsalem

          Do you think they see Noesi as a viable option? I do maybe I’m wrong though.

          • Jose M. Vazquez..

            I do think Noesi is a viable option. Sorry for the late answer.

    • joe M. Vasquez

      Well they did give Burnett 16.5 mil a yeah, so maybe not so crazy Jose

      • Jose M. Vazquez..

        I hope they have learned their lesson that you cannot give a big contract like that based om one good season. The Dodgers could or could not learn that if Kemp never has another season like 2011.

  • Greg

    Danks might be fading ou of the picture. Olney is reporting that an executive told him that the CWS want a “ubaldo Jimenez package” for John Danks

    • Thomas Cassidy

      I think people tend to forget who Chicago’s GM is.

      Yankees acquire John Danks for Ramiro Pena and George Kontos.

      • http://www.mjordanphoto.com Matt

        Would you do it for Nunez and Warren?

        • Thomas Cassidy

          I don’t know. That’s a lot for Williams to ask for. Yes, but only if they throw in Thornton.

          • http://www.mjordanphoto.com Matt

            Is it though? I mean, I don’t think Danks is a #1, but he’s a really solid 2-3. Clearly Nunez has value (especially given the contracts being given out this offseason), but Warren doesn’t profile as much more than a back-end of the rotation starter. Obviously we like to value our prospects highly, but if Williams came to me with that offer, I’d definitely take it.

            • Thomas Cassidy

              Realistically, I wouldn’t go any higher than Betances, Warren, and Nunez. That’s my limit.

              • http://www.mjordanphoto.com Matt

                Now I think you’re overpaying! ;) I’d rather not let go of Betances in a deal for Danks. But I think your point about Kenny Williams is well taken… Cito Culver and Slade Heathcott?

                • Thomas Cassidy

                  That’s not a bad deal. I’d do it if I was the Yankees, and for sure if I was the Sox. Then I’d trade Floyd, Quentin, and AJ for cash moneyz.

                  I wouldn’t want to either, but you’re going to have to if you don’t include Banuelos or Montero.

                  • Sweet Dick Willie

                    and for sure if I was the Sox.

                    Even Kenny Williams isn’t that dumb. There’s probably a >90% probability that neither of those guys make the show, and even if they do, they’re light years away.

                    If Danks is dealt, he will return a much better package than Culver & Heathcott.

                    • http://www.mjordanphoto.com Matt

                      It was meant to be tongue-in-cheek… should have made that clear :)

              • jjyank

                I think I might do that deal as well, but certainly not more. Nunez, Warren, and maybe a lower level guy?

                • Thomas Cassidy

                  That’s my max. I don’t know if they’d take that. But again, it’s Kenny Williams. Only time will tell.

                • Fernando

                  Williams ONLY got one Double A prospect (not rated in the Blue Jays Top 30 coming into season) for 6 reasonable years of Sergio Santos – 3 years at $6M each, plus TEAM options of $6M, $8M and $8.75 million. That’s a great deal considering the closer salaries right now.

                  How can you expect an Ublado type package when the receiving team would only get ONE year of Danks? You only got ONE prospect for 6 years of team control on Santos.

                  • Steve (different one)

                    To be fair, Molina would have shot up the blue jays rankings after his season last year. He’s a very good prospect, and Santos is good but not great. I’m willing to bet if cashman made the same trade, he’d be getting ripped to shreds on here.

                    • Tom

                      I think you are onto something with the consideration of the GM’s involved in the trade.

                      Williams gave up a reliever with 3 years of professional pitching experience (2 in the bigs) Sure he has a nice contract, but he’s a reliever with a very limited track record and you’d think he traded away a Papelbon or Nathan (early years) the way the myth of Sergio Santos has grown and the way the media is portraying this deal. He also throws a ton of sliders…. I wonder how that elbow is going to hold up.

                      I think the view of this trade has been significantly colored by the hero worship of AA going on in the media.

                      Williams got a potential starter in exchange for a reliever with a limited track record… Molina’s downside seems to be a back end of the bullpen arm (like the guy they just traded).

                      Obviously he can flame out and never make it to the bigs but considering the upside of him being a starter pitcher this seems like a fair deal, with a possibility of Chicago really making out well.

  • Blah

    The Yankees are winning jack sh*t with a rotation of CC, Nova, Garcia, Hughes, and Burnett. Great to see this team turning into a penny pinching franchise.

    • Thomas Cassidy

      CC and Nova will be fine. Garcia will probably be fine, too. I have faith that Hughes will turn it around, and I want to think Burnett will, but I doubt it.

  • http://www.mjordanphoto.com Matt

    He makes a lot more sense than the rest of the players on the market. Danks isn’t going to happen, not at the price Chicago is asking for – and as much as I think Darvish makes a lot of sense for the Yankees – I’d rather not see Kuroda go someplace else while we wait to hear if he’s going to be posted (and then, there’s not guarantee we win the posting).

    Obviously a 1-year deal is ideal, but I wouldn’t be opposed to a 2-year deal, around $10mil, with incentives bringing it up to 2/25-27 total.

    • http://www.mjordanphoto.com Matt

      (Full disclosure: Last offseason, my wish list went Kuroda > Lee)

    • jjyank

      Agreed. Though I do believe Danks’ asking price will come down at some point, K. Williams has every reason to ask for the moon initially, but I think that’ll drop as he begins to sober up.

      • http://www.mjordanphoto.com Matt

        Of course, but at the same time, given the market, I don’t have faith that the Yankees want to match what the best deal out there for Danks will be. As I said in a previous comment, I think that my limit is Nunez & Warren… and something tells me they’d get an offer with a higher ceiling prospect.

        • jjyank

          Fair enough, you maybe very well be right. I would be willing to include a lower level guy as a flier in that Nunez/Warren deal though. I would be fine with Kuroda too, I just want the Yanks to add someone more dependable than what they have. I have doubts that last year’s scrap-heap lottery will work out two years in a row.

  • Fernando

    As a one year option, Kuroda is not a bad choice. Multiple seasons does not make sense with the young arms and the options in next year’s free agency class. That said, I see him signing two years with the Angels to stay on the West Coast.

  • MP

    I think you guys are going a little crazy with how you slot these guys. Who cares if he is a #2, #3, #4, #5, or #8 starter.

    Let’s not over think this…

    What we should be focusing on, is whether he is an upgrade over who we could potentially give the ball to in game 2 in a playoff series. The answer to that is yes a million times over. Or 13 times over.

    • http://www.mjordanphoto.com Matt

      I think the whole “slotting” thing has more to do with how much you’d pay ($ for FA or prospects in a trade), than what actual rotation slot they would have.

      • jjyank

        Yeah, it just makes discussing the cost easier for us as fans. But in reality, I don’t think there is any difference at all after the #1 guy. Maybe the #2 thing has some merit in the playoffs, but otherwise it is arbitrary.

  • Rational Yankees Fan

    Please please tell me how this guy is league average:

    -3.78 Interleague FIP with fantastic peripherals (1.15 WHIP, 5 K/BB ratio, 7.2 K/9). High HR/FB rate suggest a lower xFIP.

    -Insignificant Home/Away splits (3.44 vs 3.67 FIP) due to phenomenal GB rate which would play well in Yankee Stadium.

    -Better career numbers against above .500/winning teams: 3.28 ERA/658 OPS vs 3.61 ERA/687 OPS (very rare).

    -Also can’t hurt that in his one start against the Sox he dominated them.

    • http://www.mjordanphoto.com Matt

      Exactly (though, as noted here on RAB, his GB rate went up quite a bit for no real reason last year – which is cause for concern). I’d really like to sign him – What do you think about a 2-year deal to lure him here? I don’t think he’s going to take a one-year (or a non-guaranateed multi-year deal) deal with this market.

      I think I offer this:
      1 year, $15M
      or
      2 years, $22M ($11M per, with $3M in incentives each season – possible total 2Y/$28M)

      • Rational Yankees Fan

        I’d be more than happy with the first but would alter the second to a 2 year deal, year one being $13 mil with $1 mil in potential incentives and year two being $11 mil and a $2 mil buyout. So either $27 max over two or $15 for one if the Yanks exercised their buyout.

        • http://www.mjordanphoto.com Matt

          While I completely agree with you (I’d love that altered section option), I just simply can’t see him taking a non-guaranteed second year. He’s 37, he’s going to get a guaranteed multi-year deal from someone IMO, and I just don’t see the buyout being something he goes for then.

          • Rational Yankees Fan

            I guess my thinking is taking the media reports that he only wants 1 year as absolute fact. While it is difficult to envision someone only wanting one year, the flexibility of a one year deal, especially if you’re going to a new team or thinking about retiring can be appealing to some of these older guys. Just look at Pettitte.

            Again, I very well may want more than 1 year and in that case I would alter the offer. But this doesn’t seem like a baseball as usual kind of guy. Given his devotion to the Dodgers he seems like someone who honors commitments and if he’s not sure about playing 2 more years I can envision the reports of him wanting 1 year guaranteed to be spot on.

            If the above were the case I think my proposal would make sense as it would technically give him a year but also sweeten the pot if he wanted to come back. More likely, however, it would be something like a $11-12M player option with significant incentives. Yanks usually don’t pull off the mutual option bit too often.

  • Pat

    Completely agreed. I think a $15M offer actually would get him here. Saying he isn’t a valuable pitcher is just ridiculous to me. A low-risk deal for a quality SP with a nice track record of eating up 200 innings who falls off our books next year…yes, please.