Blog Entry

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Posted on: January 13, 2012 9:40 pm
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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?
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Comments

Since: Sep 21, 2008
Posted on: January 14, 2012 12:35 am
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Green Monster, I'm a Boston fan and I'm afraid I totally disagree with your opinion. Compared to what the Red Sox have done lately in regards to their SP (Lackey - totally overpaid and Dice K same thing with identical injuries), this was a great deal for the Yankees. Pineda is only 22 has SP 2-3 talent already and could be the ace one day. Kuroda is a 1 year deal and hasn't faced the AL too much (a 1 year deal risk worth taking).  If Boston had maybe gotten Gio Gonzalez, maybe this would be a liitle morer easier to take. Right now all Boston has done is trying to convert their best two bullpen guys (Bard & Aceves) into starters and sign a couple of borderline journeymen starters (Aaron Cook & Carlos Silva).  Beckett, Lester and Bucholtz (health concerns) against Sabathia, Pineda & Kuroda maybe even or slight advantage Sox if Beckett, Lester return to form and Bucholtz can stay healthy but  NY also has Nova, Hughes, Garcia & Burnett while we have oh yeah (Cook, Silva, Bowden, and the converters,,) Also, we still don't have a RF yet either. Yeah the Yankees have the better team (on paper) right now. Boston needs Matt Garza (trade) and Oswalt (1 year deal) bad.



Since: Aug 2, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2012 12:33 am
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

THE EMPIRE HAS JUST STRUCK BACK!!!! Wow ! This is by the Best move of the Winter, Gettiing a Young Hard throwing Ace in Pineda and Kuroda who could be a #2 on most teams is pure Genius. I think Montero will be a good player but not a Superstar.
I LOVE the deal, Montero is a work in Progress where Pineda is a proven player. Also when you hold on to your so called Stud prospects to long you run the risk of,  1 They may never pan out and 2 you may have missed out on picking up great players by not including them in trades. Just look at Andrew Brackman! We held him in such high regard and refused to include him in trades and now look at him, The Yankees let him go and he is just trying to make a roster this spring. Also look at the Mets Former #1 Prospect Fernando Martinez, The Mets could have picked up some great players if they didnt refuse to trade Martinez, Maybe even Roy Halladay!

This puts the Yankees as the Favorite in the AL HANDS DOWN!!! This is 1 of the best moves the Yankees have made in years, Picking up Pineda may have just got us #28!!!!! Go Yanks !!! The EMPIRE ha Struck!!!  Boston Hello LOL!!!!



Since: Dec 10, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2012 12:31 am
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

... you're right, I thought the humidifier had changed things in Coors, but apparently not enough.  Is not that I don't like Kuroda, but he is not a slam dunk at Yankee Stadium.  



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2012 12:19 am
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

... except those away ballparks where in the NL West and included the likes of Petco, Coors, and offenses such as the Giants.
Doesn't hold water.  Coors is not a pitcher's park.  Petco and the Giants stadium are, but Arizona and Colorado are not.  But he's pitched great in the little bandboxes in Philadelphia and Cincinnati and most of the other "hitter's parks".  The stats don't support your argument.  Especially when he's performed his worst in three noted pitcher's parks (Giants, Nationals, and Citi Field).  He's simply a guy not effected much by the stadium because of the way he pitches, and the stats bear that out.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2012 12:10 am
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

The trade makes no sense for the Yankees.
Makes even less sense for the Braves.  Its the standard hometown "lets gather up our spare parts and trade them for all-stars and can't miss prospects" kind of radio chatter.  Completely bogus.



Since: Dec 10, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2012 12:10 am
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

... except those away ballparks where in the NL West and included the likes of Petco, Coors, and offenses such as the Giants.



Since: Dec 10, 2010
Posted on: January 14, 2012 12:07 am
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Good moves, but not necessarily a HR.  Kuroda is moving out a pitcher-friendly stadium & laid-back organization to a pressure cooker org hitting-friendly park ... oh, and he is 37.  Pineda has potential.  But we know nothing about his durability, which is the biggest concerns with upcoming hard-throwing pitchers.  He is one Tommy John surgery away from making it regretable. 



Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2012 12:03 am
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

News flying around Atlanta has the Yankees close to a deal for Minor and Jurjens for Swisher, Burnett, and Eduardo Nunez.....
The trade makes no sense for the Yankees.

97.5 sports radio has the Yankees meeting more about Fielder than Jackson last week. That would work if the Yankees moved Tex to RF or 3rd and Arod to dh.
Tex is still a gold glove caliber first baseman and vastly superior to Fielder.  Yankees just traded their projected DH to Seattle.  Why on earth would they move Tex to right fielder where Swisher is there while taking a huge defensive hit at both positions?  Obviously Fielder would be the DH, or split the DH/1B duties with Tex.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2012 12:01 am
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Pineda and Kuroda are going to find out quickly how it is to pitch in the House That Ruth would love to hit in. Soft fly balls land 10 rows deep in right field, not like the fair stadiums in Seattle or LA.
Considering Kuroda's performed better away from Dodger Stadium throughout his career, it seems like he has to worry more about changing leagues than pitching in a smaller stadium.  He's a sinkerball pitcher - maybe that's why the stadium doesn't seem to effect him much.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:57 pm
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

News flying around Atlanta has the Yankees close to a deal for Minor and Jurjens for Swisher, Burnett, and Eduardo Nunez
Good thing nobody's dumb enough to listen that.  That's funny stuff.


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