Yankees Awake From Offseason Slumber, Acquire Pitchers Pineda, Kuroda
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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.
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