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.

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.

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.

  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

  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.

  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……..