According To Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, the Yankees extended Hiroki Kuroda a $15 million to $16 million offer about a month ago. The team is used to negotiating with Kuroda at this point, and well aware of his patient approach to the offseason. At the moment, Kuroda is weighing his options of staying in the MLB, retiring, or playing a final season in Japan. If the Yankees ended up signing Kuroda to a $16 million deal, they would have just around $43 million left in their $189 million budget. That makes re-signing Robinson Cano and filling in the other holes that much more difficult.
Meanwhile, another free agent starting pitcher came off the board this afternoon. Left-hander Scott Kazmir agreed to a 2 year $22 million deal with the Athletics. There were no rumors connecting the Yankees to Kazmir, but the team is always on the lookout for left-handed starters. His return to baseball in 2013 was nothing short of remarkable, and on a 2 year deal, the Athletics could be getting a steal. There’s also that risk of finding Kazmir regressing again, so it’s indeed a gamble by the money-pinching A’s.
Today is the non-tender deadline, which is pretty much the last day to fix up the roster before the Rule 5 draft. The team traded Chris Stewart this morning, which made room for Brendan Ryan. I assume that Jayson Nix will be non-tendered by midnight, and I think that David Huff and Matt Daley are at risk. Brian McCann still needs to be placed on the 40-man roster, and although there’s one open spot, the Yankees are usually pretty active during the Rule 5 draft. If you’re interested in finding out who’s available for that draft, JJ Cooper covered the class at Baseball America.