Yankees finalize one-year deal with Hiroki Kuroda

Mailbag: Fister, Olt, Colon, Mijares, Soriano
Update: Mariners close to deal with Robinson Cano
(Mike Stobe/Getty)
(Mike Stobe/Getty)

After landing two big position players in Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury, the Yankees have started to address their pitching staff. Joel Sherman reports the team finalized a one-year contract worth $16M with Hiroki Kuroda on Thursday night. He will earn an extra $250k for both 190 and 210 innings pitched, plus he gets an interpreter. The Yankees won’t receive a supplemental first round pick for re-signing their own player.

For the second time in three years, Kuroda is a complete afterthought on the day he signed with the Yankees because of the Mariners. When the team first brought him on board back before the 2012 season, he signed the same day they acquired Michael Pineda from Seattle. Today, Robinson Cano agreed to a ten-year, $240M contract to leave New York and join the Mariners. Flying under the radar is Kuroda’s thing, apparently.

In 32 starts this past season, the 38-year-old righty pitched to a 3.31 ERA (3.56 FIP) in 201.1 innings. He was in the Cy Young conversation as late as mid-August before crashing hard late in the season, allowing 38 runs in 46.2 innings in his final eight starts. Fatigue has been an issue for Kuroda in each of the last two years — he stopped throwing his usual between starts bullpen session in September in both 2012 and 2013 — so it’ll be interesting to see if the Yankees do anything to manage his workload early in 2014.

Brian Cashman said the Yankees were seeking two starters this winter and Kuroda is just one. He’ll join CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova in the rotation, plus someone like David Phelps or Adam Warren or Michael Pineda figures to fill the fifth spot. Masahiro Tanaka seems like a perfect fit for the other rotation spot, but he might not even be available this winter given the unfavorable posting system changes. The team has dropped big bucks on Kuroda, McCann, and Ellsbury already this offseason, but they they still have quite a bit work to do.

Mailbag: Fister, Olt, Colon, Mijares, Soriano
Update: Mariners close to deal with Robinson Cano
  • Need Pitching & Hitting

    So without ARod under $189M
    11 Signed players – $129.74 (not including potential bonuses)
    5 Arb players (projected) – $14.8M
    Difference between ARod’s lost salary and AAV – $2.5M
    PreArb/40-man roster/routine transactions – est $5M
    Benefits – est. $12M
    Total – $164.04
    To go under $189M – <$25M
    Still need another good (or at least solid) starter, at least 1 good reliever, 2B, 3B, maybe DH

    $189M has to be dead even with a full season ARod suspension, right?

    • phil

      Need Mike to confirm how much money is left to spend after Kuroda…I think minimum they need infante $6-8M; Balfour$8M and feldman $10M ..That’s 26 million …Would like to see them next get Mark reynolds a lefty reliever and Barto Colon (who would be $8-10)

      • BamBamMusings

        Feldman signed with the Astros

    • Phil

      Need to know exactly how much they have left after Kuroda…with and with out AROD…..

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        With ARod for the full season, they are already going over $189M.
        Without ARod at all, they have slightly less than $25M, and would probably leave a few Million of that set said in case of earned bonuses and/or potential mid-season acquisitions.

        There’s really no way to get an absolutely exact number, because some of the costs are projected.

  • Poconos Adam

    [image of Col. Kilgore flashes before my eyes]

    Cano don’t pitch!

  • TopChuckie

    I find it a little odd you would give innings incentives to a guy whose innings might need to be limited. If the Yankees pull him with a lead in the 6th or 7th on a regular basis early in the season, is that going to ruffle his feathers, even though it makes complete sense?

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

    Not to be a Debby Downer here, but this now seems a bit foolish.

  • nycsportzfan

    Sweet! Yanks are having a splendid FA’cy period in my opinion. Suddenly, Ellsbury deal dosen’t look nearly as ugly, when u see Cano’s, and we got Brian McCann also, along with Kuroda to come back, and Kelly Johnson! Add in slick fielding Brendan Ryan and probably another starter or 2, and were in bussiness!

    • vin

      Still need to resolve 3B, most likely.

      My fantasy is Infante, Reynolds, Tanaka and a reliever. That would be a really well balanced team, IMO with versatile depth.

      C- McCann / Cervelli
      1b- Tex / Reynolds
      2b- Infante / Johnson / Ryan
      SS- Jeter / Ryan / Nunez(?)
      3B- Reynolds / Infante / Johnson / Nunez(?)
      LF- Gardner / Soriano / Ichiro
      CF- Ellsbury / Gardner / Ichiro
      RF- Soriano / Ichiro
      DH- ??? / Reynolds / Jeter

      CC, #Hirok, Tanaka, Nova, Phelps/Pineda/Warren/etc

      • Ryan

        I would be ecstatic. That’s a beautiful lineup.

      • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

        Sounds like a fantastic 85 win club.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          Some question marks for sure, but I think that’s a solid playoff contender if they add some solid relief help to it.
          If the injury bug strikes again or they don’t get relief help, 85 (or even less) could certainly happen, though – especially if Jeter or Tex are disasters coming back from injury.

      • BamBamMusings

        LF- Choo/Gardner

        Trade Ichiro

        • BamBamMusings

          RF NOT LF

  • tommy cassella

    cano let his greed get the better of him, we will now see how much he will eventually regret this move.

  • RetroRob

    Good news and no surprise once retirement was off the table.

  • Pseudoyanks

    I think they should have saved a few shekels by making Kei Igawa his translator…he’s still under contract, no?