Will Kuroda get a qualifying offer?

You couldn’t ask for a much better bargain than Hiroki Kuroda. Signed to a one year, $10 million contract on the same day that the Yankees traded their top prospect for Michael Pineda,it was Kuroda who ent on to be the truly impactful acquisition. The 37 year old was arguably the Yankees’ best starter in 2012, leading the team in innings pitched and ER and anchoring the staff through a period in which C.C. Sabathia and Andy Pettitte were both injured. It’s not taking someone off of the scrap heap and having them put up Cy Young caliber numbers or anything, but it’s about as close to that as you ever really see people get.

Now, however, the Yankees have a pretty interesting decision to make as Kuroda gets set to hit the open market for a second straight year, but this time following arguably his best season as a major leaguer. The Yankees would no doubt like to have him back, but at what cost? Would they give him a two year deal at 38 years old, pushing an additional cost into the 2014 budget plans? What about making him a qualifying offer so as to qualify for a draft pick if he signs elsewhere? You would think that that’s a no-brainer, but consider that the $13.3 million salary that would entail would not only be a raise for Kuroda, ut would even be higher than the $12 million they were reluctant to pay him last year due to luxury tax related costs.

My guess, however, is that money now won’t be much of an obstacle in terms of keeping Kuroda on a one year contract. Remember that, in addition to age, there were questions last winter as to how well Kuroda could pitch in the American League East, after spending the rest of his MLB career in the much more pitcher friendly N.L. West. Those questions have now been put to bed, so even though Kuroda will be a year older, there shouldn’t be a ton of risk involved in a single year pact. I expect the Yankees to make a qualfying offer, and I think there’s a pretty good chance that Kuroda is back with the team earning a $14-16 million salary

The one thing that could throw a wrench in that, however, would be another team making a multi-year offer to Kuroda, as I very much doubt that the Yankees want to make that kind of commitment given Kuroda’s age and their financial situation heading into 2014. I suppose it’s also possible Kuroda could return to Japan to pitch, but that would be pretty surprising after the season he just had.

About Brien Jackson

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.

15 thoughts on “Will Kuroda get a qualifying offer?

  1. There is no doubt in my mind that the Yankees make Kuroda a qualifying offer. First if he turns it down like the piece says it assures the Yankees of a draft choice should another team sign him. But second and perhaps more importantly I think it discourages another team from offering him a contract. What team would be willing to offer a 38 year old pitcher more than $13.3MM even on a 1 year deal and give up a prized draft choice? I don't think many, if any. Just my opinion.

    • BTW, I still would like to see the Yankees go after Anibal Sanchez since he's a free agent. The 2014 season and beyond would look a lot brighter with CC and Anibal at the top 2 starters in the Yankees rotation then what it looks like it could be right now going forward.

      • The only places Annibal Sanchez would be a number 2 quality pitcher are Houston and Queens. The entire 2012 yankees rotation was better than him.

          • No. Basically the only Yankee starters who were better than Sanchez are Sabathia, Kuroda, and Pettitte. Not that the Yankees will sign him, but still.

          • Welll……stat wise that's a toss-up.Sanchez has a slightly better era and whip. Nova is younger and in my opinion has more potential. I should have said the rotation they ended the season with.I would prefer Phelps over both of them.

        • Gentlemen please note my comment that prompted all of your replies basically said "The 2014 season and beyond would look a lot brighter with CC and Anibal…." As of today the Yankees rotation for the 2014 looks pretty lean. CC, yes he will be around. Kuroda and Pettitte are not going to be around in 2014. As for Nova, putting aside his win/loss record which I believe most people acknowledge is a very poor judge of a pitchers performance he has pitched very poorly over the past 2 years with the exception of about 2 months at the end of the 2011 season. As for Phelps he's nice in a pinch but he's not even a #4 starter at this point. And Hughes will probably be gone after the the 2013 season if the Yankees even hold on to him for all of 2013. That only leaves Pineda, and who knows what the future holds for him. So I stand by my comment for the 2014 season and beyond right now I would much prefer to have Anibal in the fold, because everyone beyond CC right now is a big, very big question mark.
          If the Yankees don't do something to get a quality starter for the 2013 (other then what they had in place at the end of this past season) they will potentially enter the 2014 season with: CC, Nova and Phelps and Pineda. Nova, Phelps and especially Pineda are about as big of a unknown quantities as a team could expect. I know this Yankee fan does NOT want to see the Yankees heading into the 2014 season with 3 of those 4 as the primary starters.

  2. Let's hope that Nova returns to the Nova a year ago and gets himself back in the mix. Sanchez doesn't have the moxy to pitch in NY anyway. Kuroda needs to resign, then we should be ok. I still say trade fly baller Hughes though. Petite comes back would make it a lot easier

    • Trade Hughes for Sanchez? Dunno about the "moxie" – Phil and Ivan have both had some dang rough stretches. If pitching to an ERA >7 is "moxie," I guess they both have it.

      • No please don't misunderstand my comment to trade Hughes. I think we should trade him for someone, whomever fills a need whether that's bullpen, rotation, etc. I don't want Sanchez. I think Ivan will rebound with some work and adjustments. They were both (Nova & Hughes) bad this year but Phil just seems to give up too many fly balls and if Ivan is "right" he is much better at home and has more potential.

  3. I don't understand this love affair with Nova. His home ERA was terrible. His Yankee Stadium WHIP pathetic. And as for HR's allowed. Everyone talks about Hughes giving up a lot of HR's most of his were solo HR's that he allowed. And again look at the comparison between Hughes and Nova. Nova pitched 170 innings and gave up 28 HR's. Hughes 191 innings with 35 HR's. That's 21 more innings that's the equivalent of 3 or 4 more games (based on going about 6 innings per) . Is a 7 HR differential that much worse?
    Like I said I just don't understand this love affair some fans have for Nova. IF he ever does reach that "potential" some fans think he has he will probably be a free agent by that time. Heck the Yankees didn't even put him on the postseason roster so he could help in the bullpen if needed. That in itself tells me something.

    • I'm no fan of Nova,I just don't see Sanchez being much,if any,of an upgrade. If it's a choice between those two I would rather take the shot with Nova. Sanchez's numbers in Miami,even if you discount the under .500 w-l, Are an era over 3.2 and a whip over 1.3. Those are national league numbers.Think of that over the course of a full season in the A.L. east. How much money do you think Sanchez would cost in salary? Again,this is not an endorsement of Nova,it's an argument against Sanchez. I'd rather deal with a couple of down years while rookie pitchers come around then over pay for this millenium's Terry Mullholland

  4. I keep Nova and Hughes. They are both fairly young with good arms…….NO MORE thirty something pitchers who are more prone to break down. Keep Phelps as well and hope another arm comes from the minors……..