Kuroda was the Yankees best pitcher in 2012, posting a 16-11 record, with a 3.32 ERA over a career high of 219.2 innings pitched. In 33 starts, Kuroda pitched three complete games, two shutouts and held opposing bats to a .249 batting average.
My only concern is the 25-homers and 51 walks he allowed but Yankee Stadium is a hitters heaven so that does factor in but overall he exceeded all expectations.
Also, Kuroda was great when it mattered, in October.
He went 8.1 innings in the ALDS to beat the Orioles. And even though he took the loss vs. the Tigers in the ALCS, Kuroda struck out 11-batters, with no walks but since the Yankees offense couldn’t hit a tennis ball his performance got wasted.
So, overall bringing back Kuroda was essential and Yankee Universe will sleep better for a night because of it.
It is about time GM Brain Cashman did something but to be fair his hands are tied by ownership, as it is one-year deals or bust in anticipation of the 2014 payroll-slashing plan.
And just in case you didn’t know the Yankees plan to have the payroll at $189 million by 2014 to avoid paying the 50% luxury tax on high payrolls imposed by MLB. This season the Yankees will have to pay a 40% luxury tax for going over.
So luckily for the Yankees the 37-year old, righty only wanted a one-year deal because I can promise you there was a lot of interest for Kuroda’s services and he could have easily inked a 2-3 year deal elsewhere.
But just like last season, Kuroda wants the option to go back to Japan so he didn’t want more than a year and the Yankees gave him a $5 million raise to make sure he stayed in the Bronx.
Ronald Blum of the Associated Press reported that Cashman described the Kuroda signing as, “a relief.”
Now the Yankees are once again waiting on Andy Pettitte’s decision, as the southpaw is pulling another ‘Brett Favre’ by mulling over his future. And to be honest this charade is getting rather aggravating. But Pettitte has earned this luxury so maybe he will let everybody know after Thanksgiving though I wouldn’t hold your breath.