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?
Comments

Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:19 pm
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Not a horrible deal for the Yankees. While I hate giving up Montero the Yankees have Sanchez who most scouts feel will be better then Montero. Of course he is 19 and is unproven but then again so is Montero.



Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:14 pm
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

I think the Yanks gave up too much for a hole that was there but this not the answer.

It's easier to replace offense than it is pitching.  Yankees have plenty of offense, not enough starting pitching.  Mariners were the opposite.  Both teams traded from strengths to address weaknesses.  I certainly didn't want to see Montero traded, but this could well turn out like the Kennedy-Jackson-Granderson trade where all teams involved ended up happy with what they got.



Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:09 pm
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Halliday, Lee and Hamels trumps what they have. It's not even close. I'd take the Angels staff anyday over their's as well. Weaver-Haren-Wilson is a terrific top 3. Ervin Santana as a #4? That's downright scary.

I agree if you limit the discussion to the starting staff.  If you include the whole staff, the Yankees bullpen is superior to both the Phillies and Angels, and definitely puts the Yankees staff in the discussion for best pitching staff.



Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:08 pm
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Horrible deal for the Yankees and here's why.  First, a bat like Montero's doesn't come along that often.  People want to dog him because of defense but he is probably a little better than Mike Piazza.  Second, the Yanks are rich with pitching prospects, including Dellin Betances and Manuel Banelous.  So, they have high upside pitchers, and this doesn't include Adam Warren nor Michael Phelps.  And, Pineda had a terrible 2nd half of the season last year while pitching in a friendly pitching park.

I think the Yanks gave up too much for a hole that was there but this not the answer.



Since: Jul 18, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:04 pm
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

NOT A YANKEE FAN, BUT WHAT A GREAT MOVE FOR THEM IN EVERY WAY. THEY GAINED A FRONT OFTHE ROTATION STARTER FOR A GUY WHO MAY NOT EVEN GRADE OUT AS  CATCHER. AND THEY HAVE 3 CATCHING PROSPECTS BEHIND HIM ANYWAY. WHEN YOU CONSIDER THAT SEATTLE COULD HAVE HAD MONTERO AND OTHERS FOR CLIFF YEAR A YEAR AND A HALF AGO, THIS TRADE MAKES NO SENSE. TO TRADE A FRONT OF THE ROTATION STARTER FOR A CATCHER, THEY BETTER KNOW SOMETHING THAT WE DONT. KUDOS TO THE YANKS FOR IMPROVING THEIR TEAM WITHOUT SIGNING A HUGE FREE AGENT..FOR ONCE



Since: Oct 15, 2007
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:01 pm
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

It seems to me that there is a fair amount of risk/reward for both teams here,and that the true winner of this trade won't be known for a while.It also makes you think that with a sudden surplus of starters that the Yankees might not be done yet.



Since: Jan 14, 2010
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:00 pm
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Weaver-Haren-Wilson is a terrific top 3. Ervin Santana as a #4? That's downright scary.

I agree to a certain extent, but if you want to talk about Pineda fading down the stretch, you also need to address CJ Wilson fading in the Postseason.

CC vs Weaver

Pineda vs Haren

Nova vs Wilson

Kuroda vs Santana

Garcia/Hughes vs .......

The Angels Rotation appears better on paper, but I thnk the Yankees have closed the gap quite a bit.
And the Yankees have young talent that has the chance to get better, while the Angels rotation is a little more established.

should be a fun season



Since: Jul 10, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2012 10:49 pm
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

But the Yankees made a great move, definately a good day and they filled their biggest need. Sea sucks! who trades an Ace for a catcher who people question about his ability to catch in the majors lol #hugefail....Yanks still have a top catching prospect and kept their 2 best pitching prospects.....the rich get richer



Since: Jul 10, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2012 10:45 pm
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Sports fan Rob be easy with the one of best rotations in baseball talk....they can have a decent staff but there is nothing to argue about, as much as i hate they Philly has the best staff hands down



Since: Jan 14, 2010
Posted on: January 13, 2012 10:45 pm
 

Savvy Yankees hit home run with Pineda, Kuroda

Completely agree.

The yankees scored big on this trade.

Montero is still somewhat of an unkown commodity, and as exciting as he was to watch, he only played in 18 games last year, and due to his lack of defensive skills, was probably not going to catch for the Yankees. And all other positions he could play are locked up.
No point in waisting a young talent at DH.

So the yankees got a guy who will pair with CC to form a dominant 1-2 punch for years to come, and they also have Young talent like Nova, Hughes (he is still young believe it or not), Bettances, Banuelos, etc.

The yankees are  loading up on young quality pitching. Very exciting to hear this news.

And Kuroda provides stability and a veteran presence.


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