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: Jan 13, 2012
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:56 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

hey greenMonster3 - you are a complete and total idiot. I would expect nothing less from a BloSox fan.  Why don't you get a starting pitcher like your rivals from the Bronx ?  Oh that's right you don't need any, you already have all the fat, chicken eating beer swilling overrated injured pitchers already.  Bard did such a sucky job in September in the pen and now he's a starter (that straight fastball ought to be fun for opposing lineups) WHAT A JOKE.  Too cheap to retain Papelbon ?  Your team is an embarrassment and will finish in 4th place this year.  How far back do the BloSox have to go to get 5 World Series ?  Try 1915.  That's almost ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO.  Plus only the Cards have won more than 2 since 1978.  Idiot !!     

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:54 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.....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.

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:54 pm

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.

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:49 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Rumors flying around Atlanta have the Yankees trading Burnett, Swisher and Nunez to Atlanta for Jurjens and Minor. This is upon rumors that the Yankees talks with Boras were about Fielder and not Jackson. That would work if Tex moved to 3rd or RF.

Since: Feb 20, 2008
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:42 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Dude, I hate the Yanks...  Shut Up

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:40 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Funny thing is, Yanks will be huting for offense next year: watch--they'll be moaning about losing well-pitched games for lack of timey and consistent hitting from their ageing everyday players.  That's where they really need help.  In the short run, will losing Montero's pop be the real problem? 

Since: Dec 12, 2010
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:35 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

O boo hoo another red sox choker ..lmao

Since: Aug 9, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:32 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Thank you ParKG. Nowhere did I say "best rotation". I said "arguably" the best staff. Three pitchers do not make the entire staff the best as a whole. The Yankees have a superior pen to all the aforementioned teams, along with a deep starting rotation. CC is a bonafide ace with Kuroda, Pineda, and Nova giving them a ton of comfort going into a short playoff series as opposed to Colon, Burnett, and Garcia of 2010. And who knows, maybe Hughes finds his stuff again. But with Rivera, Robertson, and Soriano in the pen, this is "arguably the best staff" in all of baseball.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:28 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

What in the world is Jack Zduriencik thinking?  I can understand refusing to trade Felix Hernandez because he is an ace and the biggest drawing ticket on your roster.  That's an easy sell to me even though I don't agree with it.  But how do you trade away your potential #2 to #1 King Felix for a hitter looking for a position?

Jesus Montero may tear the cover off of the ball but it's a lot more likely that he doesn't end up behind the plate because he defense is questionable at best.  If he ends up at 1B or DH, it's going to turn out that the Mariners traded a 22-year-old #2 starter for something they could pick up a lot cheaper elsewhere.  Unless they're getting a future Pujols or Fielder in this swap, it was just plain stupid.  The other throw-in players that balanced out the deal don't mean anything because the Yankees were able to keep their bigger prospects and still have bodies to flip to fill any other needs that come up down the road.  The Mariners had to get two of the top three Yankee prospects for this deal to have made sense.  The fact that the Yanks still hold Banuelos and Betances after landing Michael Pineda is pathetic from a Mariner fans perspective.

Since: Nov 20, 2008
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:27 pm

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

This shows you how far the yankees have fallen and why they have but one world series in last 11 years and 5 since 1978. It's considered a big day when they grossly overpay for a Mariner SP not names Felix by giving away a premier hitter and a SP who is comparable to the guy they got plus a journeyman 37 year old SP for 10 mil....big swing and miss by a prehistoric team that is losing touch with the modern world.... 

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