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: Nov 21, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 9:26 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

joe you are kiddin right? yankees acting superior and you are a jet fan..? honestly...pllllease!

Since: Mar 8, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2012 9:13 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

I like the way Redsox fans get on here trying to do there best to find issues witht his deal. Actually it is a good deal for both teams and I believe the Yankees get the edge because pitching is harder to find. Getting Pineda and Kuroda gives the Yanks excess pitching at this point and either AJ or Hughes will likely be traded. Yankees clearly feel Montero can't catch so that made him expendable. Romine is clearly going to be the backup catcher. BTW Burnett's contract has 2 years left so its not going to stop a team from getting him with the Yankees obviously contributing some.

Since: Dec 18, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 9:13 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Mediocre moves at best - they can be had.  Time will tell.

Since: Sep 13, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 8:46 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

You bring up good points, but I have one response for you. Can you name another professional team that has a fan base like the yankees, who support their team, not only emotionally but financially? Who pour $$ into the coffers so their team can afford to make moves like this. Who pack the house every time they play, home AND away. Bringing money to everyone else in the league. I think we deserve to boast a little - present and past... 

Since: Jun 13, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2012 8:35 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

 I dont get how Sea didnt get more then mosi..... How they didnt force the yanks to give up Manny as well doesnt make sense to me.... so in that sense its savvy .... but i cant stand yankee fans who act like the yankees are so superior to all teams because of rings that were won before majority of us were alive .......... its so annoying..... yall spend the most money there for are the most consistent... if you are honest with yourself you know cash has made many bone head signings the differnce between the yanks and other teams is they can eat mistakes.......  But this on paper is a great trade for the yanks

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2012 8:13 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

You guys are gonna LOVE Pineda...  He's fearless.  He has incredible control for how hard he throws... He'll give up long balls, sure, even more so in the Bronx, but it doesn't really matter with your lineup.  And even with the M's paltry offense, it never bugged him last year.  When he gives up a homer he comes right back to the plate and sits the next guy down-- I've never seen a rookie so unaffected by the mind games most kids get shaken by in the bigs.

People knock the second half of his rookie season, but he started learning to throw his changeup more after the All-Star game, because major leaguers can figure out even the very best 2-pitch guys.  As we fell more and more out of the race, Pineda experimented more and more with is off-speed stuff. It came along right about the time they shut him down.

it's actually a fun pitch.  He throws his fastball so hard, that his changeup-- at 88-90 is surprisingly effective... Even if PitchFX isn't able to register it as a changeup (usually says he was throwing a cut fastball, etc., but honestly, it's his changeup *laugh*)

And he's a fun and loveable guy.  Really gracious and generous with his time.

So yeah, enjoy the great new piece you just picked up for a mere pittance.  And thanks for the bat in return.

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2012 8:09 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Hamels was a WS MVP 3 years ago and Halladay threw a no-hitter in his 1st playoff game with he Phils.  It's not like they don't pitch well in the playoffs.  The Phils offense is what hurt them last year. And in 2010 the Giants were red hot.

Since: Nov 23, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2012 8:05 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Savvy ,you spend 10 million on a 37 year old pitcher and trade for a kid who pitched great at Safeco ,whos record was 1-4 in the second half ,look up savvy.

Since: Nov 25, 2008
Posted on: January 14, 2012 6:38 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

How do they trade Burnett with that much money left on his contract...better yet who would waste a roster spot on him?

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2012 5:41 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

WRONG answer.....young CC..lmao....get a clue ?

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