Browsing Posts tagged Hiroki Kuroda

Hiroki Kuroda, who turns 40-years-old in February, will return to his old team, the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, for the 2015 season. Over the past few seasons, Kuroda has contemplated retirement, but has returned to take the $12-$15 million offered by the Yankees. After four years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kuroda joined the Yankees during the 2012 season. Kuroda went 38-33 with a 3.44 ERA during his time tenure with the Yankees. At face value, these numbers do not justify Kuroda’s impact with the Yankees since he rarely received substantial run support. While Kuroda’s numbers do not rank with baseball’s elite, Kuroda was reliable, durable, and consistent for a team that desperately needed it. Kuroda threw 620 innings over his three seasons in New York.

CC Sabathia, Mashario Tanaka, and Michael Pineda are (hopefully) locks for the 2015 rotation while Ivan Nova, Chris Capuano, and Nathan Eovaldi will duke it out for the back half of the rotation. Max Scherzer is still available, but reports suggest that the Yankees will not be on him.

Kuroda didn’t generate many headlines with the Yankees, but he was an innings-eater that covered up a lot of holes in the rotation. The Yankees enter the 2015 season with question marks all over their rotation, so losing their only consistent starter, hurts. Still, Kuroda is 40-years-old, so fans couldn’t expect his string of consistent seasons to last forever. I’ll respect Kuroda as a respectable, professional starting pitcher that always gave his best effort. Enjoy Japan, Hiroki!

I’ve written a lot of articles about Masahiro Tanaka. Scouting report, here. First season projection, here. Tanaka’s deadline to sign with a MLB team is Friday, January 24th at 5:00 PM. Yesterday, we learned that ‘at least five teams have submitted formal offers, nearly all of them worth more than $100 million over six years.’  Based on Japanese reports, which haven’t been totally reliable, those five teams were the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, Diamondbacks, and White Sox. Tanaka gave teams a ‘self-imposed’ deadline of January 16th to submit offers. 

On the surface, giving at least $100 million to pitcher who has never thrown a MLB pitch is insane. However, as we’ve seen with most free agent contracts so far, teams are flush with cash and ready to spend big on impact players. Tanaka, who is only 25-years-old and was dominant last season in JPL play, is the type of player MLB teams won’t shy away from. I’ll walk through a valuation exercise to give you an idea of what teams are expecting and some comps to consider.

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Masahiro Tanaka was officially posted on Thursday morning and teams did not waste any time. Sources indicate that the Yankees are already in talks with Tanaka’s agent, Casey Close, who also represents Derek Jeter and Mark Teixiera. The Yankees will have a lot of competition for the skilled, 25-year-old right handed pitcher. Given the recent success of Yu Darvish, many are expecting ace-like performances right away from Tanaka. However, comparing the stats of some of Tanaka’s fellow statesmen may indicate what we can expect in his first season…

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There’s no denying that the Yankees need to add impact starting pitching. The 2014 Yankee rotation will be led by Hiroki Kuroda, CC Sabathia, and Ivan Nova, which isn’t enough to withstand the grind of a 162 game season. To fill out their rotation, the Yankees could turn to either the free agent market or pick from uninspiring internal options. The Yankees are obviously interested in Japanese RHP Masahiro Tanaka, who may or may not be posted by the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Nippon Professional Baseball league. Changes in the posting system, namely capping the maximum posting bid at $20 million, have made Rakuten rethink posting Tanaka. In fact, Rakuten has made Tanaka a generous contract offer in hopes of keeping its ace. 

Given the uncertainty surrounding Tanaka’s posting status, this year’s free agent starting pitching market hasn’t taken shape. This year’s ‘Top’ remaining free agent pitching options include Ervin Santana, Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez, AJ Burnett, and Bronson Arroyo. All five of these pitchers have obvious blemishes and would not provide more than a middling middle of the rotation option. Next year, however, potentially presents one of the best free agent classes in recent memory. Of note, Cy Young Award winners Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer could hit the open market. Established AL East options should as Jon Lester, Justin Masterson, Jake Peavy, and James Shields will be available. Finally, a few decent options from the NL Central, Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, and Yovani Gallardo will also be available. 

In Part I of this article, we’ll breakdown each of the available 2014 free agent options to see whether or not they’re a fit for the Yankees. Part II will address the 2015 free agent class. More after the jump..

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The New York Yankees used a pair of Alfonso Soriano home runs to even the series at 1-all against the Toronto Blue Jays. Soriano and the Yankees will look to continue that momentum against RHP Todd Redmond (1-2, 4.44 ERA). Redmond has failed to register a win over his last eight starts. Last week against the Houston Astros, Redmond was tagged for eight runs on eight hits in just 3 1/3 innings. Redmon has had some success in Toronto, posting a 2.16 ERA over 26 innings. Redmond is a fly-ball pitcher that may have some difficulty against the powerful Yankee lineup. 

Redmond will be opposed by RHP Hiroki Kuroda (11-9, 2.79 ERA). Kuroda is one of the league leaders in ERA, but has struggled recently. Kuroda was tagged for seven earned runs in only six innings last week against the Tampa Bay Rays. Nova gave up 11 hits over 5 2/3 innings against the powerful Red Sox lineup earlier last week. Despite his recent struggles, Kuroda has been dynamite against the Blue Jays this year, posting a 2-0 record and allowing only 1 earned runs over 15 innings. 

Pick: The Yankees opened as a small (-115) favorite, so they’re today’s pick. Kuroda had success earlier in the year and the Yankee bats should be able to figure out Redmond.

Who counted out the Bronx Bombers? Winners of nine consecutive games, the Yankees should be in everyone’s MLB picks.  There’s nothing quiet about the city of New York and now our baseball team is fulfilling its unbeatable potential. Nine straight games? You better believe it.

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Only four short days ago, I wrote an article about the Yankees’ quiet off-season. Funny how quickly things can change. In a blockbuster trade, the Yankees sent their top prospect, catcher/DH Jesus Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi to Seattle for pitchers Felix Hernandez Michael Pineda and Jose Campos. Everyone is very familiar with Montero’s body of work and lack of position, but may not know much about Pineda. Pineda, 22, struck out 173 hitters in 171 innings as a rookie, the highest rookie strikeout total since Kerry Wood struck out 223 in 1998.

In a ‘lesser’ move, the Yankees signed veteran pitcher, Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year, $10 million deal. Kuroda, a pure control pitcher, posted the ninth-best ERA in the NL last year (3.07) and has given the Dodgers at least 195 innings in the last two seasons. 

To put it simply, the Yankees got the better end of the Montero-Pineda deal and signed a rock solid #3 pitcher for virtually no risk. Brian Cashman’s patience once again paid off and the Yanks will reap the benefits in 2012 and beyond…

Michael Pineda Is Bronx Bound--AP Photo

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