Blog Entry

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Posted on: January 13, 2012 9:40 pm
Their winter hibernation just ended. And just like that, the New York Yankees made themselves into AL East favorites.

Adding Michael Pineda from Seattle has all the earmarks of acquiring a young CC Sabathia or, ahem, Felix Hernandez -- the ace the Mariners wouldn't trade.

Adding Hiroki Kuroda on a one-year, $10 million deal adds the kind of rotation depth they could only dream of last summer -- and, presumably, a right-hander with more staying power than Bartolo Colon had.

"Wow," one scout said Friday night. "They've been laying in the weeds. They hadn't done anything."

Yes. Hadn't.

Though the Yankees gave up a consensus future star in young slugger-to-be Jesus Montero, exactly the kind of young bat the Mariners need and a great move for them, Pineda and Kuroda join CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett and maybe even Freddy Garcia in giving the Yankees the talent, depth and clout their rotation needs to take them deep into October.

Just a few days after meeting with the representatives for free agent Edwin Jackson, the Yankees became the talk of the industry on what had been a slow Friday night with their stealth move for Pineda, who, at 22, already is within sight of becoming an ace.

"He's got that kind of stuff," a scout who spent part of last summer focusing on AL West clubs said Friday night. "If you wanted to be conservative, he's a No. 2. He's got velocity, he came up with a slider that got better and better last year and he throws strikes. When he gives up a home run or a hard-hit ball, it does not chase him out of the strike zone.

"He's got that rare combination of stuff and control. He's young, he's not afraid, he's big, he's still growing and he's got makeup. He's a prize.

"And the Yankees will have, what, five years of control over him? He's the kind of guy you build around. Holy cow."

The Mariners were worried about rushing him too quickly last summer when they installed him into their rotation coming out of spring training. He pretty much immediately showed them, no sweat.

By season's end, over 28 starts, he struck out 173 hitters while walking just 55 over 171 innings. His average fastball was clocked at 94.7 m.p.h., according to FanGraphs.

What's notable about that? The fastballs of only three other AL starters checked in higher: Texas' Alexi Ogando, Detroit's Justin Verlander and Tampa Bay's David Price.

Kuroda? He turns 37 next month. But he gave the Dodgers 202 innings in 2011, going 13-16 with a 3.07 ERA. He's a competitor with fierce pride.

"Solid No. 3," the scout said. "He throws strikes, he's got good stuff, a crisp fastball that's deceptive and he throws harder than people think. He's at 90 to 94 with sink down in the zone, a crisp breaking ball and a good split.

"He's got out pitches. I'd love to have Kuroda."

Now the Yankees do. And Pineda. And Sabathia and Nova and Hughes and Burnett. ...

And as they search for a hitter, for now, they've still got 6-8 right-hander Dellin Betances and lefty Manny Banuelos, who opened many eyes last spring.

"Hanging onto Betances and Banuelos [and with Pineda on board], they've got three young-gun studs who should pitch for them for a long time," the scout said. "And Nova's not that old and Hughes isn't that old.

"They've got the makings of a young, under-control staff."

Yeah, sure, why not? On a night on which the Yankees proved they're not sleeping through the winter, why not add to their opponents' misery just a little bit more?

Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:42 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

hey tomebrady08..isnt it thomasina brady? From titletown usa who, when you add up all their teams titles, may be 1 more than just the Yankees? and that will chamnge this year. Now , even your self-christined name is wrong, because if you add the titles of all the NY teams, we ahead by a bit. Now , maybe you didnt christin Boston titletown, but one of you boston fans did.How does it feel to be back in your best place, inhaling the Yankees dust?

Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:37 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

This is what I wanted to see Go after tallent if your going to stay over the luxery tax Pineda is the real deal Jackson is not with 3 catchers in the minors 1 can be missed and now with the dh mabe open is the Prince next? you never know Luxery tax was coming down but could sky rocket very quickly go for it Yankees Can't waite for the Peneda Moore matchup that will be great sorry Red Sox Yankees Rays

Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:34 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

hey Joeknowssports, at least our owners put the money we give them back into the team, not to a fly-by-night con artist. Thats why we win

Since: Jan 14, 2012
Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:03 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Its sad that with those long term expensives contracts A rod, Tex and Swisher cannot be traded, these players really choke in playoff

when it really counts, not with decent numbers against poor teams. There are so many good batters and cheap that I do not beleive Cashman do not see them, Beltran, keep Chavez, Cuddyer, Kubels were available etc

Since: Nov 6, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2012 12:49 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jan 14, 2012
Posted on: January 14, 2012 12:44 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

You're right, what yanks need is a hitting coach, Tex, Swisher, Anod,

Gardner, Russel, all under .280 that lineup stinks in playoff not against Mariners, Nationals and really poor teams, you put all these guys together without Jeter, Granderson and Cano and they be hitting in AA teams, Cashman should do something about it honestly.

Since: Jun 19, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 12:10 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

For a team that seemed to be penny pinching a few months ago....what a bombshell....I give it up to Brian Cashman for pulling it off as Pineda is a stud and Yankee Stadium is going to love the kid.  I think the Red Sox Nation just got a huge lump in their throat and it ain't good Bobby V

Since: Dec 15, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2012 12:04 pm

Cashman Worth Every Penny

Wow!  Brian Cashman.  That dude, just sitting there, letting us all worry about the starting rotation for years.  Keep your ace, and get a starting rotation from the farm and smart trades which makes the pitching very young, but with lots of upside.

It is a great deal for Seattle as well.  Old school trade that benefits everyone.  Kuroda for another year, Garcia as crucial backup and a steadying force (or a long man, at least).  Someone who can hit more than singles for the Mariners (DH, anyone?)  I could easily see Montero being a Thome-type player in for the very long haul. 

Really cool to see a trade like this in the modern day MLB.   

Since: Dec 23, 2008
Posted on: January 14, 2012 11:56 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Awesome deal! The pitching we was lacking last year has come to the bombers. I read someone say "if" they can score runs they have it made. Well, they have always found ways to score it was the rotation and bull pen that let them down. Not this year I see them running away with the division this year.

Go Yankees! 

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2012 11:39 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

I like this trade. The Yankees are defensively solid in the infield and in the outfield. The glaring weakness was in the starting rotation. I read the posts and the nay sayers are all saying basically the same things. Kuroda is old and Pineda is unproven. Even if that turns out that this isn't a great as billed, the Yanks starting rotation will still have more horsepower than last years starters.

So what if Kuroda is 37 years old? He'll be a 3 or 4 man in the rotation, he doesn't have to be an ace. If we can get one solid year out of Kuroda it will give Betances and Banuelos another year to develop. Burnett can fight it out with Garcia and Hughes for the 5th spot. If Garcia pitches as well as last year we can let Hughes stay in the bullpen where he is a stud.

This move gives the Yankees options that they didn't have before. Options mean they will have flexibility for making personnel moves or other trades. When the Yankees have options, they can go after missing pieces by the trade deadline for a run in October.

My biggest concern about this team is the offense. We don't know exactly what we'll get from Jeter or A-Rod. Tex needs to be a little more clutch this year. The batting coach needs to fix that giant uppercut swing that Tex has. Granderson is good and I don't think we've seen the best of Cano yet.  Martin and Swisher need to be solid and the DH needs to produce. So, maybe the Yanks need to go after a bat for DH or get a 3rd baseman with a bat and put A-Rod at DH. 

If the Yanks can score runs, I like their chances this year

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or