Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thinking About 2013 : To #HIROK or not to #HIROK

A Real Head Scratcher
The Yankees got more then they ever could have imagined or hoped for when they acquired Hiroki Kuroda as a free agent on a one year $10 million deal this past off season. He has more then filled that second starter position that the Yankees have been looking for, for what seems like forever. Kuroda has been an ace for this club, win loss record withstanding, and a pleasant surprise in a pitcher that came from the light hitting NL West to the big time offensive AL East. The question the Yankees face will be whether they should bring him back for one more season in pinstripes.

"It's All Good"
Let's start with the good things to say about Hiroki Kuroda and the 2013 season. He has far exceeded anyone's expectations coming into the season, including my own. I personally considered Hiroki Kuroda to be the best #3 or #4 starter in the majors when we signed him on the same day we acquired, what I thought would be #2 starter, Michael Pineda. He would come into the 2013 with pitching in New York and the AL East experience and probably post season experience. He has only pitched over 200 IP once in his career, last season, but he does expect to exceed that this season and only pitched over 200 IP twice in his Japanese career. His max innings in his career was in 2005 with Hiroshima Toyo Carp only pitching in 212 IP and CC Sabathia has that by the All Star break #sarcasm.

Yankees COULD Fall Flat On Their Faces
Let's continue with the bad things that could keep Kuroda out of the Bronx in 2013. First and foremost Hiroki will be entering his age 38 season and you have to wonder when the guy will begin to break down and slow down. The other problem will be that he will want a significant raise, one would think, from the $10 million he made last season. Another thing would be whether he wanted a multi year deal, which the Yankees would be absolutely insane to give to him. A third question mark will be whether the Dodgers, who Kuroda has been open about preferring to play for, will continue to open the wallet to sign a fan favorite coming off of very solid season. Not to mention I believe that the Red Sox, with their new found payroll flexibility, could be involved to simply drive up the price or stick it to the Yankees.

"Well? Which Is It?"
This is really a tough situation and decision for the Yankees to be in, although that may not be a bad situation to be in. Kuroda has not shown signs of slowing down, fatigue, or losing anything so most of me wants to say give Kuroda another one year deal worth big bucks and go out and dominate one more time before the Yankees have to get fiscally responsible. Some of me just worries about signing a guy with such age and innings on his arm after all the aging train wrecks we have seen in pinstripes, like Kevin Brown to name an example. At the end of the day I would wait out the market and see what happens but I think Kuroda has forced our hand into giving him another contract. I just hope, and would be totally in agreement with, it is a one year deal for big money rather then a multi year deal.

This Has Been A Paid Advertisement From The #HIROK For 2013 Campaign

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)