Report: Kuroda close to signing with someone

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

27 thoughts on “Report: Kuroda close to signing with someone

  1. Adam Dunagan

    I will say this, Randy Levine doesn't stick his nose in last year and Sign Rafael Sori(Oh-No) the Yanks are all over this. Instead of 11 million for middle reliever yo could have a solid #3 type to help sure up the rotation.. But Randy stuck his nose where it didn't belong.. Maybe this teaches the front office to not give Randy the keys to the safe anymore, or change the locks.. i dont know. Regardless, it's frustrating

    • BrienJackson

      That would make a lot of sense if the Yankees didn't have the cash available to make this kind of move, but they do, so it kind of doesn't.

  2. Adam Dunagan

    If there is just cash laying how come Levine or Hank aren't going out overpaying for Carlos Beltran, or Edwin Jackson?. its frustrating, but there's definite validity to No Soriano Last Year = Signing a number 2 or 3 this year…

  3. David in Cal

    iI'm beginning to think that the Yanks just don't intend to spend the money for any decent starter, Maybe the Steinbrenner family had a big investment in Jon Corzine's MF Global and can't afford another SP..

    • Even if the family lost every penny, the organization sitill kicks off tremendous cash flow.

  4. Jim S

    Cashman is working very hard to improve the starting rotation by praying every night that one of the prospects emerges as an "championship caliber #2" next year.

    • Joe

      Who was the Cardinals # 2 last year? Garcia? Jackson?
      Who was the Rangers #2? (I think that changed in different series… Holland? Colby Lewis? Harrison?)

      Are those guys championship caliber #2's?

      I think he's more concerned about getting beyond CC and a bunch of 4/5's… Is an ace and four #'3's (or three #3's and one 4/5) any worse than having a legit 1,2,3,4,5.

      Garcia is gone next year and I think unless AJ has a miracluous year he's gone too… so it's CC, Hughes (if he proves himself), Nova, FA and Betance/Banuelos fighting it out for the last spot. I guess Noesi could be in there, but I think that would involve a trade/injury this year and him showing his value during an extended bunch of starts this season.

      • Jim S

        I mentioned "championship caliber #2" in a mocking way. It was meant as a criticism of the Yankees recent practice of poo-pooing any and all available arms. I agree with you that they should be worried about upgrading the rotation in general rather than worrying about what number they can stick on a guy.

      • BrienJackson

        I can't speak for anyone else, but this does not accurately summarize my concern. Obviously, the postseason being the crap shoot that it is, once you're there anything can happen and these "things you need to win October games" theories are mostly silly. My concern is that all four non-C.C. starters currently on the roster could easily be TERRIBLE during the regular season and the team's starting pitching could be a complete disaster that leaves them not making the postseason at all.

  5. roadrider

    You're right. I don't get it at all. I thought all along that the Yankees were going to pass on the likes of Wilson and Darvish in favor of short-term deals with stop gaps like Kuroda and/or Oswalt. Now it appears that they're not in on either one. So unless they have Ron Guidry undergoing stem-cell therapy in the DR or have cloned Whitey Ford and Allie Reynolds in a secret lab in Central America it seems that they're counting on a Hughes bounce back, no regression from Nova, continued luck from Sweaty Freddy, a born-again hard AJ and big strides by ManBan and Dellin.

    It's still worth remembering that some of the biggest Yankee acquisitions in recent history were under-the-radar surprises that happened as late as the start of spring training (Clemens, A-Rod) so who knows, maybe Cashman and the FO have something big brewing but it's hard to understand who the target(s) might be.

  6. domonic

    I don't understand why Yanks wouldn't be interested in Oswalt knowing that Oswalt wants a 1 year deal

  7. jay_robertson

    WHY the big deal about Oswalt and his ONE YEAR DEAL? If he flames out like the Met's reliever we signed last year (to a TWO year deal) – its STILL lost money, and a lost season. Oh yeah – the Met was even looking good, had pitched a zillion innings with no injuries. While half of Oswalt's back is made of soggy Cheerios…

    Guys – consider – as near as I can tell, it isn't JUST the Yankees not signing Oswalt; near as I can tell, no one else has jumped at this AMAZING OFFER!

    Good to know that Brien and friends know more than every GM in baseball. (btw – didn't Oswalt's team LET HIM GO?) just sayin.

    • A bit early with the vitriol, eh Jay? The Phillies let Oz go because $16M was too high a price for him, period. I'm all for one year deals on the older guys with some scratches on the luggage but good miles nonetheless.

      • jay_robertson

        OK, OK – but it is the same thing, over and over. Last year, supposedly we signed stud, healthy relievers. One who played part of the season, and two who did Pavano imitations. Sure – with hindsight, Feliciano can be called a "bad hire" – but at the time, most folks were counting on a horse.

        Just saying Oswalt comes with question marks – if we can get him on a Colon-esque contract, sure. But $10 mil? – not that excited. And so far, neither are any other teams.

        • jay_robertson

          Or – to look at it another way, this continued inaction is starting to make me nervous. From your side links: http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/2011/12/the-buildin

          ALL of the articles castigating the team for not doing anything – I'm afraid it will get under Hank or Randy's skin, and they'll end up either trading the farm for Danks or maybe signing Prince (the fielder, not the singer) – just to make a splash. I know – we all remember Soriano – but there is still a lot of growing pressure to DO SOMETHING.

    • BrienJackson

      Well, yes and no. No one was interested when Oswalt was asking for a three year contract, but Crasnick's report indicated that several teams expressed interest in a one year deal with him.

      And your protests prove too much. Yes, the Yankees got absolutely nothing for the money they spent on Pedro Feliciano (and Damaso Marte for that matter) and…they still finished with the best record in the American League (while paying A.J. Burnett and Kei Igawa to boot!). Money is simply not that much of a hurdle to the Yankees, and a little bit of sunk cost, or even a somewhat large amount of sunk cost, is probably not going to kill them.

      And to that end, Oswalt is an even more defensible gamble since a) starting pitchers are much harder to find and less fungible than relievers, left-handed or otherwise, and b) there's no risk at all beyond 2012 if the contract is for just one year.

      Could Oswalt get hurt and return little to no value? Sure he could. Would that hurt the Yankees relative to where they are right now? Not in the slightest.

  8. Daniel

    Isn't it possible that Cashman's approach has changed with the way Noesi has looked in winter ball? Also, maybe he's waiting to unload Burnett so as to not completely kill his leverage? Ok, the second one's a stretch.

    • Mike

      No chance the Yanx can trade Burnett before next year's offseason, even if the Yanx offer to pay 90% of his remaining salary. Next year someone might take a flyer. Wouldn't want to be that GM though.

      • BrienJackson

        I'm fairly certain you could find plenty of takers for A.J. Burnett is they only had to pay about $3.5 million for him over the next two seasons.

    • BrienJackson

      However good Noesi looks in winter ball, he isn't going to start the season in the big league rotation, and might spend the bulk of the season in the minors. SO I don't see why that would have any bearing on a one year deal for Oswalt or Kuroda.

  9. Jay M.

    Perhaps Cashman's hands have been tied by ownership.

  10. Ralph Eherts

    For years the Yankees (Cashman) have been critizied for not allowing the (AAA) kids to have a legitimate chance at the Major league level. You cannot do that without roster spots, and you cannot have roster spots if you sign every other over the hill veteran. Why not give the AAA arms a chance, if they fail then at least they were given a real shot at contributing at the Major League level.

    • BrienJackson

      None of the AAA arms are going to start the season in the rotation in either case, so I don't see how this is germane. Also, none of those arms figure to be better than Kuroda or a mostly healthy Oswalt, so why wouldn't you prefer to have the veterans if the commitment is only for one season?

      • Joe

        People are confusing any upgrade with a justifiable upgrade….

        While the 1 year thing is nice someone is getting bumped which means delaying development or an assessment of a pitcher (Hughes, Nova) or effectively eating AJ's or Garcia's contract.

        It's not simply a question of whether Kuroda or Oswalt is worth 10-12mil (or whatever they get), but do they represent a 10-12mil UPGRADE over those guys, and also is that upgrade substantial enough over trying to see what you have in Noesi if someone falters.

        This simply binary approach/criteria of are they better than someone currently in the rotation would mean the Yankees should go after both Oswalt and Kuroda (replace Garcia and AJ) and maybe even kick the tires on Colon, who could be an upgrade over Hughes or Nova

        It's not simply money/contract length.. the issue is also roster spots and the decision also needs to factor in the need to get some decisions made on some of these pitchers (Hughes, Nova, Noesi).

        • BrienJackson

          I would bump Garcia or Burnett from the rotation for Kuroda or Oswalt in a heartbeat.

          • Joe

            The problem again is not would they be better but are they ~10 mil better

            The other problem is you need to face reality… the Yankees aren't putting AJ in the pen with 2 years left so unless they find a taker and eat a bunch of salary he's a starter.. it may not be the right thing to or the sane thing to do but it's fairly clear he's not getting bumped out of the rotation. Right or wrong, barring trade or injury he's very likely starting the season in the rotation.

            So it comes down to are Kuroda or Oswalt basically 2 to 2.5 WAR better than Garcia to justify an extra 10mil spend (guestimate on their contract)? Garcia posted 3.5 fWAR over the last 2 years (averaging ~150innings) so figure he's probably going to post ~1.5 WAR, maybe 2fWAR if the Yankees get lucky again, maybe closer to 1 WAR if he has a significant injury or major decline. Is either Kuroda or Oswalt a 2-2.5fWAR upgrade over that?

            Are they 3.5-4.0 ffWAR pitchers at this stage?
            - Kuroda posted 6.5 fWAR over the lats 2 years with nearly perfect health (~200innings) so maybe he puts up another 3.5 fWAR season, but hardly a sure thing/slam dunk and basically assumes no injury or decline..
            - Oswalt posted 7.2fWAR over the last 2 years averaghing ~170 innings.. so assuming reasonable health maybe he also pits up a 2-2.5 WAR upgrade, but hardly a slam dunk.

            Again it's not A vs B, its the delta and whether that is worth the contract. The only other real option would be to put Freddy Garcia in the pen as a long man.

          • Considering how tight the top of the division is, I think that’s probably under estimating the marginal value of an extra win. How much is that win worth if it’s the difference between making the playoffs or not making them?

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