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."
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?