The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Friday, November 16, 2012

TGS LA: Dodgers may have an edge for Hiroki Kuroda

There might be a reason why the Los Angeles Angels have reportedly gotten involved in trying to sign free agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda.

Previously, teams have been under the impression that Kuroda would either re-sign with the New York Yankees or return to his native Japan to finish his career. But Kuroda has told friends that his first preference is to pitch in Southern California, where his two daughters are attending elementary school.

Kind of tough to compete with family reasons.  Not bringing Kuroda back is likely to have about as big of an impact on the Yankees plans as their failure to sign Cliff Lee a couple of years ago.  Let’s hope that this time they have an actual Plan B.

--Posted at 4:47 pm by SG / 32 Comments | - (0)


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Remember when Pettitte said he would make his decision early?

Plan B is to get down below $189 THIS year.

Plan A is to suck.

Kuroda also didn’t care for that “chopstick!” remark by Coney.  Holy Cow!

Here’s a question - is there any way that they can just push back Austerity2014 to Austerity2015?

I know the way things work you can go over $189 in 2015 and not get hit with the same taxes you would otherwise so long as you get under in 2014, but if they switch it around, you would still need to be under $189 once in a…four year period, I believe. So would it be that significant if they pushed it back a year? I mean, I know it WOULD be significant, but would it outweigh the benefits of having a good team?

I wonder only because if they lose Kuroda, they’re kind of fucked. So I would think then their only shot at being relevant in 2013 is to spend some real money on someone like Greinke.

We’re right in the middle of a 4 year period of pretty boring offseasons. We follow the highest revenue, highest payroll team in the sport, yet recently it’s been almost nothing but stopgap solutions and half-measures. In 2011 they signed the old pitchers at the end of ST and somehow that worked. In 2012 they lucked into a few one year deals and rode them into the postseason. Coming up on 2013 it looks like they’ll do nothing much and likely be worse than last year. And 2014 is the austerity year. If you’re just considering free agency, you can also add 2010 to the list, when their two big moves were both trades.

Now you can say that the overall strategy of not giving out any long term contracts within this period is just part of the plan, but it’s still pretty amazing nonetheless to imagine a 4-5 year period where the Yankees are nearly irrelevant in the offseason. I think the last non-Yankee free agent signed to a 3+ year deal was Mark Teixeira.

[6] Didn’t mean to write “at the end of ST”, don’t know where that came from…

[6] We’re combatting the positive reinforcement of Calzone’s success, followed by the Kuroda deal. They’ve decided they can do this a few more times, and maybe they can. Austerity demands they try.

We’re also combatting the negative reinforcement of long term deals like A-Rod and Teix, which we wish were not for so many years. We won’t make that mistake again soon. We also won’t sniff the WS anytime soon.

[8] I understand in Japan you can buy lightly soiled WS from vending machines to sniff.

I’d blow the whole team up this offseason. Just to give us shit to talk about.

[10] It’s a good thing we don’t run the Yankees. A month into the off season and we are so bored we want to blow up the team.

[11] - Unfortunately Levine does have say in how the team is run and he feels exactly the same way.

[12] I think we would make smarter moves than him at least.

With this whole austerity plan: why not just backload a long term contract this offseason? What if they offered Hamilton 4 years, 85 million, but only paid him ten million in the first two seasons of the contract? Or ten million the first year, fifteen the second, (or reverse the two, so the cheapest year is in 2014) and then financial mayhem the last two seasons? If Hamilton doesn’t get bowled over by any crazy owners, I wouldn’t have a problem at all taking a four year gamble.

[14] Luxury tax stuff is calculated on AAV not money paid in a particular year.

15. Womp womp. So you’re telling me MLB’s luxury tax nullified that loophole, but the NHL’s HARD CAP allowed for ridiculous fifteen year contracts? The NHL really has it together.

Yeah, the NHL’s situation is hilariously stupid.

Anyone else’s clockles being warmed by this from MLBTR ?

•Carl Pavano was given a clean bill of health in September after missing most of the season with a shoulder problem. His agent Dave Pepe has received a few preliminary calls, and Pavano could sign a minor league deal.

You just know what’s coming next…

Yankees looking at Hairston. How would a Hairston/Dickerson platoon look?

[18] sounds like a plan.

[19] Adjusting for platoon roles and playing time, it looks like something between 1 and 1.5 WAR. Or, not very good.

F**k Cliff Lee and Greg Maddux too.

(21) Seems great from an inappropriate reference to male genitalia perspective.

Ichiro and Hairston would be a solid platoon. But I think it would necessitate a legitimate bat at DH, opposed to keeping the slot open for the old guys at all times. Kuroda, Hairston, and Mike Napoli would make a great offseason, in my opinion.

[24] I don’t know about great, but solid.

Kuroda is the key. If they re-sign him, they have a shot. If they lose him, I really don’t know what the fuck they’ll do. Think about it, you can’t even punt 2013 since they’ve got so many veteran players that aren’t getting any younger. So they HAVE to play to win now and yet they seem to claim that that’s not what they’re going to do. I really don’t know WHAT they’re doing. Unless they re-sign Kuroda, in which case they’re going for “One More Shot With All The Old Guys.”

[26] I’m sure they’ll come up with some harebrained scheme. Like, sign Soriano for 4/60 and turn him into a starter.

I wouldn’t do it unless he has options to force a trade to the team of his choice at the all-star break.

[26] I still don’t understand how anyone can evaluate the 2013 team when it has no RF, no C, no DH, half a bullpen, and doesn’t have 40% of it’s starting rotation.  Of course they don’t project well - the projection has like 7 scrubs in it.

I’m pretty sure Cashman knows that major league players are required in those positions. Let’s let him put the roster together before we start contemplating suicide.

... let me temper my comments a little. Not meant as a poke at you Brian, I appreciate your comments and perspective.  But, I’ve noticed that depending on the time of year, we’re either bitching about not buying players or bitching about the players we spent a lot of money buying not living up to their potential.  Hunter for 2 years at $13M per? No thanks.  Cabrera, I would have taken at what he got paid, but I understand the aversion to that risk.  Should we/could we have done what the Blue Jays did? If we did, we’d be reading headline after headline about a team with Jeter, Reyes and Rodriguez on it - all of whom make more than their likely to be worth, a mediocre Mark Buerhle who I’ll bet will be worse than Hughes next year and how Josh Johnson won’t pitch 100 IP next year.

They want to have a lower payroll in 2014 so that they can spend a lot after 2014 and not have it cost as much - I get that.

To spend less in 2014, you need cheaper players.  To have cheaper players who are performing in 2014, you need to give them a shot in 2013. It’s a balancing act, and it may mean a deviation from having a team that projects to 92 wins in March that we just spend all summer getting mad at when they don’t play well.

[30] Agreed.  And though Kuroda is a good player who will help the rotation A LOT in 2013, he is NOT - I repeat NOT - the difference between them being competitive in 2013, and being in need of an immediate sell-off/rebuild.  Pettitte, Mo, an average RF, and average C probably put them in the 88-90 win range on paper.

Also, I don’t know why 2014 is already considered to be completely lost.  There is a LOT of young, cheap talent on this team and coming in the next couple of years.  It isn’t highly rated talent, so we don’t have high expectations.  But there is a better than zero chance that in 2014 a rotation of CC, Pineda, Phelps, Nova, Marshall is one of the better rotations in the league (admittedly, there’s a greater chance that rotation - if it exists - would be one of the worst).  And also that players like Adams (forcing ARod to DH mostly) and CoJo (if Cano leaves) are above average players.  Not to mention a chance for an exceptional bullpen (again), but populated with under 30, mostly cheap pitchers.

I mean, these guys have barely proved anything above AA/AAA yet, so I understand why there’s skepticism.  But can we at least see how 2013 plays out, before dooming 2014 and beyond?

I still don’t understand how anyone can evaluate the 2013 team when it has no RF, no C, no DH, half a bullpen, and doesn’t have 40% of it’s starting rotation.  Of course they don’t project well - the projection has like 7 scrubs in it.

It is not that hard to project the team when you know their salary limitations. Now could they surprise us with an out of nowhere trade like last year? Of course, but unless they do, we know what they have to work with - the available free agent market and we know what they have to spend - lots of one-year deals. Kuroda, therefore, is the best possible pitcher that they can acquire within that framework (Pettitte being the next best). If they get those guys, then fair enough, they’ll be okay for 2013. If they don’t, Cashman will have to pull a rabbit out of his hat to make up for their absence.

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