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Revisiting Hiroki Kuroda and the Yankees

By Mike Silva ~ December 3rd, 2011. Filed under: New York Yankees.

Despite various rumors of the Yankee exploring free agent and trade options, ESPN NY’s Andrew Marchand laid out the new and conservative Yankees front office.

Say what you want, but the Yankees are no longer concerned with winning the offseason. Look across town with the Mets and see how that formula hasn’t worked. Rather, they are content to let the market come to them and only pounce when the situation is in their favor. It’s not a bad formula, but I still think the Yankees should import a veteran starting pitcher, as long as it’s at a reasonable cost.

One name that was connected with the Yanks this past season was the Dodgers Hiroki Kuroda. When Brian Cashman was interested in acquiring starting pitching this past July, Kuroda was one of the names mentioned as a possibility. Ken Rosenthal reported earlier today that Kuroda, now a free agent, is considering all options. It was originally thought Kuroda would only pitch for the Dodgers or return to Japan where there is an offer from the Hiroshima Carp.

Despite losing 16 games last season, Kuroda was one of the top pitchers in the National League. His 3.07 ERA was good for 9th in the league. Historically, he will give you 200 innings and about 12-15 wins. He seems to be the type of pitcher that has good enough stuff to translate into the American League. Will he dominate? No. But all you need is innings and consistency to round out the rotation. A number three, if you will.

Could the Yankees land Kuroda with a 2-year deal for $24 million? I don’t think I would guarantee a third year since he is already 36 years old. Perhaps an option, but no more than 2 years.

If spring training started tomorrow the Yankees rotation would be CC SabathiaA.J. BurnettIvan NovaFreddy Garcia, and Phil Hughes. They would have young pitchers such as Hector NoesiDavid PhelpsAdam WarrenDellin Betances, and Manny Banuelos. As much as I want to applaud Cashman for resisting the temptation of a “designer signing,” I think a veteran like Kuroda might be necessary. My preferred move would be to bring in Mark Buehrle, but if they want to keep these deals shorter, perhaps Kuroda is more realistic.

Right now, the Rockies appear to be the most aggressive on Kuroda. Where do you think a Japanese star would rather play? Colorado or New York? I think the answer is obvious. Los Angeles probably would be his first choice, but the signing of former Met Chris Capuano signals the end of Kuroda’s LA tenure.


I found this tweet from Cliff Corcoran of Sports Illustrated via Tyler Kepner of the NY Times very interesting:

Per @TylerKepner, “Cashman said…newer general managers…unrealistic, asking…too much in trade talks.” So MLB is my fantasy league now?Sat Dec 03 14:34:45 via TweetDeck

The topic of opposing teams’ demands when it comes to the Yankees has been discussed on this site and radio show. We have been reporting how difficult it’s been for Brian Cashman to acquire any sort of pitching since other GM’s expect him to overpay. The Yankees haven’t executed a major trade since December of 2009, when they acquired Javier Vazquez from the Braves. This new world order is one in which the Yankees will probably have to be more self-sufficient, develop pitchers, and utilize free agency. That’s why any hope of the Yankees acquiring Matt CainGio Gonzalez, or another young starter pitcher heading towards arbitration or free agency seems unrealistic.


Let’s hear it from the fans. Are you comfortable with a rotation of Sabathia, Burnett, Hughes, Garcia, and Nova, with Noesi competing for a fifth spot?

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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7 Responses to Revisiting Hiroki Kuroda and the Yankees

  1. Brian d

    I’m less concerned with their pitching than u am with their offense. I know conventional wisdom has them scoring 900 runs and hitting 200 hrs. But I think they are an offense in decline made worse if they don’t get a big performance from montero. Arod has to excel or this could be a rough yr. Cespedes would be a good pickup. Or moving Nunez to right and trading swish for an arm. Speed and youth wins here.

  2. Ralph Eherts

    The Yankees present rotation, bullpen and offense will get them to the post season. The playoffs are a crap shoot – the hot team wins. The Yankees need to be patient, maintain a strong farm system and maintain payrole flexibility. Cano and Granderson will need long term contracts in the future. Stay the course!

  3. Mark R. Moskowitz

    It now seems as if Darvish will post. If so, I would bid aggressively. Absent success here, I would rather spend on offense, too, specifically on Cespides and Soler, with the latter of even greater interest due to his assumed lower price. I do not believe the current free agents are worth the cost, and believe that Noesi can do the job, and that Phelps and Warren provide viable alternatives if not traded.

    If we can get someone like Cespides for his bat and MLB-ready bat, there is a trade that would interest me, though unlikely and controversial. The trading partner would be the Marlins. They have always been looking for a face of the franchise, and this is even more important with their new stadium. Cabrera was unsuited for this and was traded; Ramirez is also not fit for this added pressure and role. Assuming that they do not get Pujols, which is likely, there is only one person who would be perfect, a true icon who is from Miami, AROD. Assuming that the Yankees pick up a portion of his salary as Texas did, and that he agrees to such a move, and that he passes his physical, consider Alex, Gardner, to give the Marlins the CF they need, and Jorge Vazquez, a power-hitting 1B, for Ramirez and Josh Johnson. Additional pieces could be added if necessary, such as a Warren if the Marlins need a pitcher back. I believe that AJ would flourish back in Miami, or Hughes might be added to pick up Nolasco. If the Marlins are serious players for Reyes, Ramirez would have to be traded. If not, they are in greater need of a celebrity. Any thoughts?

  4. Saket

    I am absolutely not satisfied with the current rotation. However, I think a short term solution like Kuroda would be okay with the mega free agent crop available next offseason. I would rather sign Hammels and Cain next off season, than sign CJ Wilson now, and one person next off season. That’s just my preference though.

  5. Saket

    Question for Mike Silva:

    Is there any chance the Cubs would lessen their price for Garza if we take Soriano’s bad contract in return? I will always have a soft spot for Soriano:)

  6. Mike Silva


    This Joel Sherman column from this morning should shed some light on why free agency might not be the Yankees #1 priority in the near future


  7. Kabiela

    The Yankees shud pursue Hiroki Kuroda. The only reason he has a bad win/loss record is cuz his team barely gave him run support. If he can handle NYY pressure, I’d be happy to have him on the team. Hughes belings in the pen. He cant be trusted as a starter just yet. Noesi needs more developement as a major league starter. The few times he started/pitched more than 4 innings, he faltered. I cannot beleivewe re-signed Freddy Garcia. Cashman better make some moves soon before all the good pitchers r gone.

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