Sherman: Yankees think Kuroda is leaning towards returning to Japan

Thursday Night Open Thread
Mailbag: Salty, Andrus, Cruz, Anderson, Perez

Via Joel Sherman: The Yankees believe Hiroki Kuroda is leaning towards returning to Japan to pitch for the Hiroshima Carp next season. Ken Rosenthal hears that could push New York to offer the right-hander more than the $14.1M qualifying offer they made him Monday. Kuroda made $15M plus some incentives in 2013. The team would not receive a compensation draft pick if he signs with a team in Japan.

Kuroda, 38, pitched to a 3.31 ERA (3.56 FIP) in 201.1 innings this season. He faded badly down the stretch for the second straight year, as I explained yesterday. The Yankees have a limited amount of money to spend this winter, especially until Alex Rodriguez is suspended (if he is suspended at all). I love Kuroda as much as anyone, but I’m not sure giving a soon-to-be 39-year-old who struggled late for two straight seasons another $15M is the wisest idea. When it comes to guys like this, I prefer walking away a year too soon rather than a year too late.

Thursday Night Open Thread
Mailbag: Salty, Andrus, Cruz, Anderson, Perez
  • Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

    Adios #HIROK :(

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Go get him, then.

  • HateMclouth (formerly I’mVernon)

    Better start reigning in on Tanaka..

  • ClusterDuck

    Kuroda wouldn’t be a bad signing. That said, I’d take Tanaka and Garza before I would take Kuroda.

  • Mandy Stankiewicz

    It’s certainly been fun watching him pitch in NY.

  • Mick taylor

    Yanks are nuts to even give kuroda the wo. He faded at the end terribly . He is old . I would give that money to garza .

    • Rob

      The only issue there’s kuroda’s $ + $60 or so million. I’d rather a 1 year stop gap than signing a bad long term deal. I like garza, but the $ he’ll likely get worries me and can be better spent.

      • Rob

        It’s not an apples to apples comparison

    • hogsmog

      Even a half season of ace-like kuroda is likely better than what Garza will bring to the table. That said, there isn’t much to choose from.

  • Frank

    Let him go. 14M is more than enough for him, much less 15M or more.

  • Matt DiBari

    Didn’t they think that last year too?

  • CashmanNinja

    I love Kuroda, but he did fade down the stretch and it wasn’t even just a little bit of a struggle. The numbers were awful. I wouldn’t mind if he accepted the qualifying offer, but I really do think he’ll be going back to Japan. He could probably get a 2 year deal there, or 1 year for a big amount as a sort of swan song.

    I wouldn’t spend the money on Garza because I simply don’t think he’s worth it. I like the fact that he won’t cost a draft pick, but he’s going to want a lot of money and he seems to always have a nagging injury. Plus he was pretty bad for the Rangers last year.

    They should use the money to go all-in on Tanaka. $100 mil posting fee and then $60 mil for the contract. Only the latter would count against the cap so may as well use our #1 resource (pure cash) in the posting fee.

  • 189,189,189,

    no way they get tanaka, remember the boys want the 189,cashman bring back vasquez for third stint,you f………..idiot

    • CashmanNinja

      But Tanaka would actually play into the $189mil cap. The posting fee doesn’t factor into it and he’d only get $60-70 mil max. 6 years/$60 mil would have a $10 mil a year hit. That’s a steal for a potential #2 guy. When guys like Ervin Santana are asking for over $100 mil and Ricky Nolasco want $80 mil, I’ll spend $10 mil LESS and get someone who is younger and potentially much better.

  • Farewell Mo

    $15 million is an awful lot for a pitcher you’re probably gonna have to limit to 160-170 innings if you hope to get anything from him down the stretch or into October.

  • RetroRob

    The QO basically limits his market since he’s a one year sign. A team would have to pay him 14m plus, and surrender their top pick. That means if he wants to pitch I’m MLB it’s the Yankees. So, maybe he is using the Yankees pitching issues and indicating he might plan to return to Japan to try and leverage more money.

    Or maybe he’s serious about returning home. Neither would surprise me.


    • Chris Z

      The team doesn’t have to pay him over 14 mill. He could sign for 2 years and 10 mill if he wanted, it’s all up to the player.

      • Coolerking101

        I think he was saying (rather accurately), that Kuroda would never sign with anyone else for less than 14 million per year.

  • MannyGeee

    I honestly cannot believe how many of you shit sippers are REALLY saying Kuroda is not worth the money because he ‘faded so fast’ or ‘will need innings limited’ or whatever the fuck…

    Kuroda is BY FAR the best Free Agent Pitcher available (and please don’t feed me that Tanaka shit…) and has been far and away the best Yankee Pitcher over the past two years.

    This site goes nutso sometimes, I swear..

    • Robinson Tilapia

      There’s zero comparable option on the market right now to Kuroda.

      I’d like Tanaka as well, but you can see the folks revving themselves up on him now and setting themselves up for disappointment now if there happens to be a higher bid…..if he’s even posted this off-season.

    • Nick Social

      Tanaka > Kuroda

      • I’m One

        There’s no way to know that. It’s complete speculation on your part. I do expect it to be true over a 3 or 4 year period (because I wouldn’t expect Kuroda to pitch more than one more year), but next season that would be nothing more than a guess.

        Kuroda put up excellent numbers over the entirety of last season. Sure he faded at the end, but looking at his season as a whole, I find it hard to believe that Tanaka could put up those kinds of numbers in his first year in the MLB. If the Yankees got him I would love it, but I certainly don’t expect it. I would expect Kuroda to put up nimbers similar to, but slightly worse than what he did last season.

  • LarryM Fl

    The Yankees are in a very tough situation with the roster makeup. They need pitching and position players. IMHO then sure up the pitching first but if you are adamant about securing Cano then you need to be all in on push to win. The spending of 25 million on Cano leaves approximately 65 million to spend. I look for a younger pitcher who will give you innings for 2 years at least. Where that pitcher is and under what rock? I do not know. Kuroda is a true professional pitcher but .500 winning %. So, I look in another direction. CC,Nova, new guy, Phelps and Warren. it does not look pretty no matter which direction that the Yankees look.

    You never know? So its too early to get the confidence level down.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Well, I still think they’re going to prioritize doing what they need to do over the celery cap.

      Of course you do everything you can to bring back Kuroda on a one-year deal. He’s been your best pitcher for two years straight, and this “decline” folks are talking about could probably be handled by skipping a few starts at the end. You’re going year by year with him. That’s not a ton of risk.

      Jumping on the Tanaka train is a dangerous thing. Yes, I think the Yanks should be all in then, but it’s not like they’re going to be the only team bidding. Too many movable parts there in order to feel sure he’ll be under the Christmas tree. I’d bring Kuroda back. I wouldn’t go nuts over Garza, but I also wouldn’t automatically assume he’s getting Anibal Sanchez money. 4/64? Yes, I’d go there on Garza. Really strengthening this rotation could go a long way.

      • mt

        You are right about the possible fool’s gold of jumping so hard on Tanaka train – we may not get Tanaka because we get outbid by another team (or Tanaka chooses another team if posting system gets changed to where the player has more control of his destination across the top bidders). Then even if we do get him, he may struggle with transition from Japan.

        I think it is the allure of someone who is less than 30 who might have an upside – there are so few places in current roster where one sees something that may be an upside for someone of that age that when there is one, everyone’s eyes get wide.

      • Coolerking101

        What makes you think the salary cap is not the top priority?

        I’ve come to the exact opposite conclusion given the way the team handled FA last year, the Wells deal and even the Soriano deal (I think the Yanks only owe $5mil this year to Soriano). IMO, the Yanks #1 concern is getting under 189 and fielding a team that is reasonably competitive.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I don’t buy past behavior as indicative of future behavior here. Whether they go down that road should depend on every decision moving forward. If it stops working, you shouldn’t hesitate to consider whether it’s no longer the right direction.

          I also think they’ve gone out of their way to say they’d consider stepping back. I realize a lot of people don’t believe them there, but I think they’re saying this multiple times means a lot.

          I realize Mike’s take is “they’ve gone too far to come back now,” and I don’t agree with him on that. It’s a good reason to do, or not do, some things in life. It’s a shitty reason here.

    • Phil

      $65M if Arod is suspended for the year…reduce it by $33 million if

  • mt

    I am torn on Kuroda – seeing his numbers at end of year frightens me for a 39 year old.

    I also am not interested in paying Hiroki more than $14.1 million (I think they have to talk about limiting his innings next year) – maybe would only consider $16 – $17 mm if we are desperate and do not get Tanaka.

    My preferences would be 1) Tanaka + Kazmir/Haren type then 2)Tanaka by himself without Kuroda then 3) Kuroda (if we can’t get Tanaka at all). In my 2 and 3 sceanrio not clear we have improved our starting pitching from last year (in these caeses, may then have to rely more on a Sabathia rebound, Nova consistency throughout the year, and something out of Pineda) but hopefully we can also add someone (besides Cano) on offensive side in scenarios 2 and 3.

    (My comments only apply to a $189 million mandate – if we have no $189 mm mandate, then by all means pay Kuroda more if that is what it takes to get him.)

    The problem with this is since the old Japanese posting system went away, how long will it take for MLB to actually sign a contract with the Japanese league to finalize the new posting system? Then how long will it take Tanaka to actually post?

    This offseason is fascinating – seems all Yanks can do is wait (on Arod arbitration, on Cano to shop around, and on Japanese bidding system to get finalized.)

  • mitch

    It’d be nice to get Kuroda back on a one year deal and then sign Tanaka. Having a guy like Kuroda on the team might make the transition easier for Tanaka.

  • viridiana

    Scrap the cap.
    Increasingly obvious Yanks can not field championship caliber team under the 189 mandate. And cap would very possibly crush attendance and TV ratings and ad revenue. Combined with failure to make playoffs would make 189 a miserable financial (not to mention an odious competitive decision).
    Yanks need to move fast on free agents. Decide one way or another on Cano and start picking up other pieces. Many needed.
    I realize Hal may not see it this way but he needs to be something of a gambler here. Start filling holes by reeling in players regardless of cap impact. Then, if A-Rod decision results in bonanza savings, Yanks might still fit under cap. But Hal must be prepared to go over if A-Rod ducks suspension. It’s a gamble but not so much really when 189 is viewed as a money-loser in any case.

  • UncleArgyle

    I love Kuroda, but if the Yankee’s are planning on spending 15 mil on a pitcher this offseason it should be Matt Garza. In fact for me the top 3 priorities should be 2)Tanaka b) Balfour C) Garza. The name of the game is pitching and none of three require surrendering a draft pick.

    • mick taylor

      agree 100% with you. garza is better than kuroda. he can be a legit. number 2. people are crazy to want kuroda back. the best you will get next year is what you got this year. how are yanks going to make playoffs if he collapses down the stretch again. and there is the strong possibility that he sucks all next year. whereas garza will not suck. garza can problably had for 16 million per year, which is what idiot crashman will give a 40 year old kuroda

  • BigHeadKay

    I think the Yanks should hold fast on the qualifying offer they gave Kuroda. It’s a solid offer based on his performance. put some of those resources into getting that other Japanese pitcher.