For days, even weeks, the talk around most of the Hot Stove has been about how quiet the Red Sox and more notably, the Empire 150 miles to the Southwest had been. Well, the ‘Bombers have broken their silence.
This from Bryan Hoch / MLB.com:
NEW YORK — The Yankees may have solved the lingering questions of their starting rotation in just one night, nearing completion on deals that will fit right-handers Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda for pinstripes in 2012.
In Pineda’s case, the price proved to be a steep one, as New York agreed to part with power-hitting catcher Jesus Montero, shipping their top prospect to the Mariners in a four-player trade.
Though the teams have not made an official announcement, a source confirmed that Seattle is set to send Pineda and Minor League pitcher Jose Campos to the Yankees for Montero and 24-year-old right-hander Hector Noesi.
It was the type of tantalizing arm that the Yankees were willing to dig deep for, despite the fact that they think highly of Montero, 22, who is generally regarded as one of baseball’s premier right-handed power prospects.
Shortly after news of the Seattle trade became public, the YES Network reported that the Yankees also completed a one-year, $10 million deal with Kuroda. Kuroda, 36, was 13-16 with a 3.07 ERA in 32 starts for Los Angeles last season and has a career record of 41-46 in 115 big league games since 2008.
Pineda and Kuroda figure to slot behind ace CC Sabathia, bolstering a rotation that the Yankees had spoken openly about wanting to upgrade before pitchers and catchers report in approximately five weeks.
Quick, silent and like a brick through plate-glass. The Yankees as usual.
So do the Sox make a play for Joe Saunders? Should they look to the Cubs and try to swing Matt Garza as part of a package to include the compensation for Theo? Will Daniel Bard be the answer in the #5 spot, nevermind the #4 hole? Can Bobby V. really go into camp with the idea of converting Bard and placing the man who carried the rotation AND the bullpen at certain points, Alfredo Aceves, at the back-end? Is Wakefield a viable option one more time? For much of the off-season, the ‘Bombers were in the same boat with questions in the back end of the rotation and like the Sox had been fairly quiet. Now they’ve put themselves back on the map… sure, if Lester can lead Beckett and Bucholtz like the majority of last year, we’re in relatively good shape. However, Lester needs to shake off the implosion of 9/11 and Clay will need to get past the worry of a back injury (ask Bobby Jenks). Beckett I have less fear of. Josh should have a fuse lit and burning away towards a few sticks of TNT worth of proving himself to his manager, the fans and more so, his teammates. Beckett is a cocky, proud and temperamental guy in the mold of Roger Clemens and he’ll be out to prove it.
In recent days, the Yanks had been linked to Edwin Jackson and Matt Garza, but Scott Boras’ client remains a free agent and Garza is still a trading blue-chip in Chicago. One might expect, if the Sox have a move to make, it may fall after next week. Wednesday is the signing deadline for Yu Darvish and the Rangers and is expected to make or break the final days in the Prince Fielder sweepstakes. This will loosen up the remaining free agent market, especially for pitchers and 1B as teams will start evaluating the left overs, the holes and what they really need going into camp.
One thing is for sure. Things just got more interesting.