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Yankees, Hiroki Kuroda agree to one-year, $10 million deal

Jan 13, 2012, 8:45 PM EDT

kuroda throws getty Getty Images

The Yankees are set to acquire right-hander Michael Pineda from the Mariners in a four-player deal, but they aren’t done improving their rotation. Jack Curry of YES Network reports that they have agreed to terms with Hiroki Kuroda on a one-year deal worth between $10-11 million, pending a physical. ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that it’s for $10 million.

Kuroda, who turns 37 in February, earned $12 million last season while posting a 3.07 ERA and 161/49 K/BB ratio over 202 innings. He has a 3.45 ERA since coming over to the United States four years ago.

The Yankees tried to acquire Kuroda at the deadline last year, but he wasn’t willing to waive his no-trade clause. The common line of thinking after the season was that the veteran right-hander would either pitch in Los Angeles or return to his native Japan to pitch for the Hiroshima Carp, but he changed his stance after the Dodgers added Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang earlier this winter.

In less than an hour, the Yankees rotation has improved by leaps and bounds. They are now projected to have CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova and likely a three-way battle between A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia for fifth spot. Burnett is still owed $33 million over the next two seasons, so he would presumably have the upper hand. The depth is nice to have, but it will be interesting to see whether the Yankees use Hughes as a chip for a hitter if they are underwhelmed by some of the DH-types remaining on the free agent market.

  1. canowack - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Red Sox better pick up their offseason acquisitions if they want to compete with this new pitching lineup the Yanks will have!!!!!

    • henryd3rd - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:00 PM

      Theo’s gone and the Red Sox are still trying to get over their September woon.

  2. portlax12 - Jan 13, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    I know that this looks like the Yankees just made some huge moves, but we all remember what people were saying when the Red Sox made their big moves last offseason. They were being compared to the 27′ Yankees and all that stuff. I know on paper the Yankees just got a lot better; however, I think we all should have learned by now not to get to excited over off season moves because many times they do not turn out to be as impactful as we project.

    • daisycutter1 - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:08 PM

      Has anyone said the 2012 Yankees will be the best team ever? If not, then the hype is nowhere as insane as it was before last season with the Red Sox.

      • portlax12 - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:32 PM

        Thats because this move is an hour old. People are already saying the Red Sox must make some moves to keep up with the Yankees. I am saying that we all need to calm down and realize that good baseball teams on paper do not always play well on the field. Although these moves could potentially be beneficial for the Yanks, we should reserve judgement until the games are played. I do not think the Red sox should go out and make moves just because the Yankees did. If it’s the right guy at the right price, then make the move. But acquisitions made as a reaction to that of another team usually turn out badly.

    • uyf1950 - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:24 PM

      Also the Yankees haven’t spent $300MM on these 2 guys.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:12 PM

      And the Red Sox missed the playoffs the year before, so they had work to do. The Yankees won the division handliy last season, and now they have improved more than Boston or Tampa. Looks like the Blue Jays might be the new division rival.

      Let’s see what they can get for trading Hughes or AJ now. I can’t remember their contracts, but maybe AJ for Adam Dunn? I’d be OK with that.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:53 PM

        Why would you trade 2/$33M of dead weight for 3/$44M of dead weight?

      • edog623 - Jan 14, 2012 at 12:48 AM

        I’d take Dunn in a split second. But why on earth would the White Sox do that?

      • Kevin S. - Jan 14, 2012 at 2:28 PM

        Rebuilding team gets out of a bad contract a year early. Makes sense from their standpoint. Not sure the Yankees want to pay Dunn in 2014 though, seeing as it seems that’s the target year for getting under the tax line.

    • protius - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:31 PM

      Sorry bud, but that line of thinking only applies to the Red Sox……….Lmao

  3. damnyankee13 - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    who cares what the red sux did?

  4. ireportyoudecide - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Good moves by the Yankees. Hard to imagine what kind of numbers a pitcher going from Safeco or Dodger Stadium to Yankee Stadium is going to put up. That stadium has turned Curtis Granderson into a power hitter.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:16 PM

      Per @enosarris on twitter:
      Pineda…is going from a -5% LHB HR park to a +43% LHB HR home park

      Not good for the Yanks. He needs to work on his change up because he has a terrible platoon split [in the minors].

  5. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Btw RAJ can have the ninja icon [per mike axisa of and], here’s the new image of Cashman:

  6. miketreedy - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    Both the pitchers the Yanks picked up were great in their home ballparks which are very pitcher friendly. These moves are overrated. To get back to World Series contention they need better years out of players like ARod, Jeter & Tex. These two guys aren’t enough to put them above either the Rangers or Angels.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:06 PM

      The Yanks pitching last year was better than the Rangers, and their hitting was almost identical. The Yanks have improved their pitching which the Rangers have pushed in the CJ for Darvish swap.

      • miketreedy - Jan 14, 2012 at 1:03 AM

        There is a reason why the Rangers went to the World Series the last two years and not the Yankees. The Yankees are old, tired and spoiled. Adding these two pitchers doesn’t change things that much. They are another year closer to needing a complete overhaul especially if ARod doesn’t rebound. The Rangers are young and just hitting their prime.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 14, 2012 at 7:56 AM

        The Yankees are old, tired and spoiled

        The Yanks lost a game 5 in which, over the series, they outscored their opponent and gave up less runs than their opponent. Yeah, old and tired. 5 game sample sizes are definitely how we should judge a team.

        Adding these two pitchers doesn’t change things that much

        Adding a soon-to-be 23 year old pitcher doesn’t change much? How so? Even just age wise he’s significant.

      • miketreedy - Jan 14, 2012 at 2:35 PM

        LOL – this is obviously a Yanks crowd. Surprised you all are getting so excited over these moves. The fact is the Yankees are one of the oldest teams in baseball. They are a spoiled team who shows little heart. I loved the way they just caved two years ago against the Rangers in the ALCS.

        It’s not like you picked up Cliff Lee here. Both additions are nice pitchers. Pineda’s stats outside of playing at home are below average. Kuroda’s stats are inflated based on pitching in the NL West.

        I just wouldn’t get that excited. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tampa wins the AL East this year.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:14 PM

      Pineda and Kuroda don’t need to be Spahn and Sain. They just need to be better than Hughes and AJ. Mission accomplished.

      • henryd3rd - Jan 14, 2012 at 6:13 AM

        Larry Rothchild will see to that. He is a miracle worker. Ask Freddie Garcia and well as Carlos Zambrano

  7. hammyofdoom - Jan 13, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Okay honestly if the Red Sox don’t pick up Roy Oswalt after this Hammy is going to be a little upset and Hammy might have to hurt someone. Having just watched Misery is giving me far too many ideas…

  8. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Next move: Manny on a 1 year minor league deal with an invite. Let him rot in single A if he sucks, but that guy always killed it in Yankees stadium before…

    • aceshigh11 - Jan 13, 2012 at 11:19 PM

      You mean the old Yankee Stadium?

  9. whatthehellisansky - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Called it!!!

    Gonna miss Jesus – the kids gonna be a hitter for years. Definitely gotta give it to cashman though – hes greatly improved the rotation- although im already praying pineda isnt the second coming of AJ

    Whos gonna go? We need a DH and we got a ton of starting pitching…

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 14, 2012 at 3:27 AM

      Release AJ, sign Prince? Kidding (I hope).

  10. randygnyc - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    I’d like to see fielder in the DH spot on a 3-4 year deal.

    • uyf1950 - Jan 14, 2012 at 7:28 AM

      Randy, unless the Yankees unload some players contract I think they are done with any “high priced” signings for this year. Right now with what happened last night (Kuroda and Pineda) the Yankees payroll is just shy of $210MM and I mean just shy according to my calculations. So unless they unload someone (AJ Burnett) and free up about $8MM of the of his contract this year the only thing left for the Yankees to sign is some minor deals. The 2nd utility infielder (Chavez), possibly another bullpen guy but that may not happen they may just move someone from the rotation. And then possible Damon, Godzilla or Vlad on a 1 year deal for the DH spot. IF they makes those moves that probably would bring their total payroll for 2012 up to about $214 or $215 +/-. But if they were to unload Burnett for example they could get back down to about $206 to $208 for 2012.

  11. Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Yes, tonight was a very good night for the Yanks. Losing Montero will continue to be especially painful, but to land a guy like Pineda for 5 years of team control was a great move.

    Sorry for the link/hijack!

  12. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 14, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    They got Pineda and Kuroda in one day? Thaaaaaa Yankeeeees wiiiiinnnnnn.

    Shit, I’m a Sox fan.

  13. steelersfan1983 - Jan 14, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    I’m just glad to see they are finally getting some pieces. I don’t expect a sub 3.5 era for Kuroda but he will be a nice addition.

  14. dcfan4life - Jan 14, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    I think these moves may vault the Yankees into AL favorites here fellas. There offense might be there weak spots. Arod and Jeter are declining. There farm system isnt as strong as its been in years past. But i would still bet on them winning the AL.

  15. Tom G - Jan 14, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    Kuroda despite his record pitched well last year for LA.The Yankees got a solid number 4 starter with him.I wish LA would have kept him but with ownership in turmoil and already committing to Kemp and with Kershaws contract coming up soon I see why he wasn’t brought back.

  16. Ari Collins - Jan 14, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Very good deal for the Yanks. Shame my Sox can’t afford him right now.

  17. randygnyc - Jan 14, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Uyf, my understanding is that the only payroll numbers that matter for the Yankees is with regards to the cap in year 2014. They must be below the cap 1 of the next 3 years. 2014 projects to be such a year. No AJ, Kuroda etc, replaced with low cost arms like banuealas and betances. Yankees can afford fielder for 3 or 4 years as strictly a DH.

  18. adedhed68 - Jan 14, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    The beauty of the Kuroda deal is that he is reunited with Russell Martin. They made a nice battery in LA, and I am sure that had something to do with the Yankees being able to sign him

  19. buffalomafia - Jan 14, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Next trade A.J. Trade ARod to Mets for David Wright & if they still have a horseshoe up there ass sign Feilder as Dh? Hey you never know?????

  20. buffalomafia - Jan 14, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Im a true blue Yankees fan but miketreedy is right. The Yanks are getting old. Jeter doesnt hit like he used to. Without steroids A-Rod is breaking down. No sure catcher? Brett Gardner cant hit? And as always Yanks leave to many runners on base?

  21. odj810 - Jan 14, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    red sox fan but yankees are making moves. even if pineda doesn’t end up a front of line starter kuroda and pineda are both going to give you quality innings. with the offense and rivera yankees are scary this year. that being said montero is a stud, and i know alot of yanks fans are upset to loose him

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