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: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 3:55 am
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Since: Jan 7, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2012 3:43 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

     Pineda would be a number 5 in your rotation?? You have Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, CJ Wilson, Ervin Santana and Pineda. In that scenario, of course he would be a No.5 because of the talent in front of him. However that doesn't mean he doesn't have ace stuff. For the Yankees, all they had was C.C Pineda and Kuroda. Pineda are amazing No.2 and 3 options, with having Hughes, Burnett, Garcia, and other pitching depth to sure up their rotation. Starting pitching was their greatest weakness, and the remedied that siginificantly with these moves. The Angels lacked offense, and addressed that with the best availible offensive weapon on the market in Pujols. However, one man won't fix your offense. You still need Morales to come back to form, and then hope Kendrick, Abreu, and Hunter can stay healthy and consistent. You also need to hope that Walden is comfortable as the closer and need your young offense to come around as well. The Angels are a better team no doubt, but still need some patchwork to be done on offense in consistency, and in the bullpen for depth. They will be in the discussion, but lets see how much better Pujols makes this offense. If it can finally give Weaver, Haren, Santana and new guy Wilson at least 4 runs of support, and the bullpen improvesthey will do amazing. 

  The Yankees though, are still heavy favorites....great rotation now, high octane offense (A-Rod, Cano, Granderson, Jeter, Texeria, Gardner), and a decent bullpen (NEEDS TO STAY HEALTHY FOR ONCE to be good). All in all, the Yankees still look better than the Angels. Give it another two years and then the Angels should be better. Until then, enjoy the show with Pujols.

Sorry to burst your bubble  

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2012 2:53 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Possibly 2 Front of the rotation guys for a really good dh and a 5 spot rotation at best....don't underestimate Jose Campos.

Since: Jan 14, 2012
Posted on: January 14, 2012 2:20 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

How could an Angels fan burst the Yankees bubble? When was the last time you made the playoffs? The Angeles added the best player to an above average team and CJ Wilson, please!!! How's your bullpen? You just paid Pujols more money then your sorry ass owner paid for the franchise and he had 99 RBI's last year, great move!!!Just remember this, get in line to be our rival, right now you do not qualify!!! I always hear that the Angels own the Yankees but they only have 1 ring, that is a joke!!! Check your self, 27 rings, that is more than the Angels, Dodgers, Lakers, and no football team combined, OUT!!!!!!!

Since: Oct 19, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2012 2:06 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

calm down over there. pineda would be number 5 in the angels rotation..... plus signing pujols and cj trumps this.

sorry to burst your bubble..

nonetheless i agree the yanks made a really good deal.

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:30 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

These acquisitions make the Yankees the team to beat in the AL IMO. That rotation just went from mediocre to very good to go along with that great lineup.

Since: Jan 9, 2012
Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:18 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

The Yanks gave up a helluva lot for Pineda , it better work out because Montero is gonna be a monster , but then again the Yanks can just buy another bat later on

Since: Mar 8, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:16 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

the pineda trade was a great move this kids a big guy like cc so if he's anything like the horse cc can be that's just one more plus, but as of what i know this kid has lights out stuff staight up nasty and i'm happy the yankees made a move for a major league ready pitcher who's young and can help us for years to come. will we miss montero yes he;s a great talent and would have been great to watch hit homers to right feild but with that said hitting wasn't what the yankees needed. starting 5 cc, pineda,nova,kuroda,hughes if healthy or garcia rather not see head case burnett. sounds alot better than cc, nova, burnett, colon,garcia. if you guys don't know much about this pitcher go to mlb .com or yankess rumors and look at some video of the movement his pitches got serious. cashmann did a good job plus we still have to very good catching prospects in are  farm system ones 17 and can rake another we seen already in wilson ramos who's a very good catcher who can hadle himself behing the plate at the major league level. think of the pitching in the nexted few years when we have cc,pineda,hughes,righty dellin betances, the nasty lefty manny banuelos this is what wins championships pitching not just hitting good pitching always trumps good hitting now we are more complete. go yankees

Since: Jan 7, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:14 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

That Braves/Yankees trade is the dumbest fake trade/false rumor/Yankee wishful thinking I've ever heard.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: January 14, 2012 12:52 am

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

I LOVE the deal, Montero is a work in Progress where Pineda is a proven player.

Maybe it works out, but tell me one more time how Pineda, a rookie pitcher last year is a "proven" player?  He had 3 excellent months, his first 3 months in the big leagues.  His last 3 months he got smoked, he wasn't good at all.   In the last 3 months he pitched 69 innings with a 5.35 ERA.   For the season on the road he had a 4.40 ERA and now he gets to pitch in a park that gives up a lot of hr's.

Not saying he won't be good, but it's crazy to think it's anything close to automatic.  It's a gamble, that's all.  The Mariners needed a young and talented catcher, and the Yankees needed a young pitcher.  Nobody knows how anybody is going to do in those situations.

Kuroda is a good pitcher, but he's 37 and coming from the N.L, those guys are always wildcards.  

The Yankees had to do something... but these are just decent trades, calculated risks.  Nobody won anything here yet.  

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