Yankees Awake From Offseason Slumber, Acquire Pitchers Pineda, Kuroda

Rotation Goes From Being Suspect To Potentially Dazzling In A New York Minute

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees’ rotation just got nastier.

The Yankees acquired stud right-hander Michael Pineda in a trade with the Seattle Mariners and signed veteran right-hander Hiroki Kuroda on Friday night.

WFAN’s Jon Heyman reported Friday evening that the Yankees sent catcher Jesus Montero and right-hander Hector Noesi to Seattle for Pineda, who went 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA and 173 strikeouts in 28 starts as a rookie last season, and pitching prospect Jose Campos.

Then, according to the Yes Network’s Jack Curry, General Manager Brian Cashman turned around and signed Kuroda to a one-year, $10 million deal. The 36-year-old was 13-16 with a 3.07 ERA for the Dodgers this past season and 41-46 with a 3.45 ERA in four seasons in Los Angeles after a long career in Japan.

The moves ended a long run of offseason silence by Cashman, who had been under the gun to reshape the Yankees’ rotation after getting by with seemingly over-the-hill Bartolo Colon, journeyman Freddy Garcia and enigmatic A.J. Burnett in 2011, a season that ended with a five-game first-round playoff loss to the Detroit Tigers.

The Yankees now have a rotation that figures to be led by C.C. Sabathia, followed by Kuroda, Pineda and Ivan Nova, with Garcia, Burnett and Phil Hughes battling for the last spot, assuming, of course, one or two aren’t moved to fill other needs.

Pineda, 22, has drawn comparisons to former Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez, his teammate last season. Both can approach triple digits with their fastball and feature and assortment of off-speed and breaking pitches.

Montero batted .328 with 4 home runs and 12 RBIs in 18 games for the Yankees last season. Considered one of their top positional prospects, the 22-year-old became expendable due to the Yankees’ organization depth at catcher, including 23-year-old Austin Romine, who played in nine games for the Bombers in 2011.

Noesi, who many thought would get serious consideration to crack the Yankees’ rotation in 2012, went 2-2 with a 4.47 ERA in 30 appearances last season. The 24-year-old right-hander struck out 45 in 56 1/3 innings.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below. …

  • arizona today

    These moves greatly solve the Yanks’ pitching problems.

    Montero did not have a full-time position on the field. He was only going to play part-time, mostly as a DH.

    In that limited role, Montero’s bat could not have won 9 games, as Pineda did for the M’s last year, or 13 as Kuroda did for LAD last year.

    Additionally, these acquisitions move Burnett to the bottom of the rotation, if not possibly out of it altogether.

    These moves also put pressure on Hughes to perform.

    Finally, it is now unlikely that they Yanks will have to rely on Garcia, who’s pretty much past his prime.

    I have been very critical of Cashman this offseason, but I now congratulate him. Hopefully these changes will make the Yanks a true championship contender again.

    As for the offense that some above are questioning: if the Yanks improve their pitching, they won’t need as much offense. And even with Arod winding down his career with declining production, there should still be plenty of offensive production on this team. Offensive production in the regular season is usually not a problem for the Yanks. it’s offensive production in the post-season that is always the big question mark.

  • dabooch

    Stupid move Montero is a slugger, who are the Yankees going to rely on A Rod, Texeira, and Swisher? Three stiffs when it counts, they’ve proved it time and again.

    • joey

      Montero isn’t spelled MUNSON. relax, it’s the smart move.j

  • Anthony Leong

    Gary Sanchez is the best Yankees catching prospect. 3 years younger, can hit like Montereo and a great catcher.

  • Martin

    The Montero trade is a big mistake that will come back to haunt the Yankees. Montero is a natural born clutch hitter – a type of hitter the Yankees haven’t seen since unloading Matsui. It will be on a par with the Mets trade that sent Nolan Ryan away. Cashman will finally earn his place in infamy!

    • Paul D

      You’re comparing Montero to Nolan Ryan and we’re supposed to take you seriously? You’ve obviously exceeded your dosage of mind altering drugs. Now get some sleep, take a deep breath…
      Now do you want to try that again?



  • Jim Gregori

    AJ must go!!!!!!

  • Dominic

    Need pitching over hitting. Haet to see Montero go because he had right field power, but no position for him right now. He can’t catch…….Martin can. I do not like Pineda being compared to Hernandez. This is a step, but by mid-season ‘Cash’ has to figure out a way to get “King Felix”. He has to be a Yankee!!

  • zg

    Hate to give up on Montero. Where are they going to get clutch hitting? A-Rod is shot, Teirchera and Swisher are playoff chokes, Jeter is to old and every team will pitch around Cano. The regular season they all can score enough runs but come playoff time forget about it.

  • moemoe1130

    Good move.we have too much catching. you have to trade a good hitter to get good pitching.now, how to get rid of AJ?

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