The New York Yankees have had a very quiet off-season. That is until tonight when they bolstered their starting rotation.
The Yankees began by acquiring Michael Pineda from the Seattle Mariners for top catching prospect Jesus Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi. Pineda went 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA during his rookie season striking out 173 batters while walking only 55 in 171 innings pitched. The Dominican born righty turns 23 next week and has a very bright future ahead of him. The Yankees had to give up a lot to get Pineda. At one point, Montero was touted as the heir apparent for Jorge Posada but with Russell Martin as the number one catcher the Yankees are in a position to wait for Austin Romine to develop. The Yankees also acquired minor league pitcher Jose Campos.
After acquiring Pineda, the Yankees then signed free agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year, $10 million contract. Kuroda, who turns 37 next month, has spent the past four seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers compiling a 41-46 record with a respectable 3.45 ERA. Prior to his MLB debut in 2008, Kuroda pitched in his native Japan for 11 seasons.
So I would expect the Yankees starting five to be C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Ivan Nova, Pineda and Kuroda although Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes will also try to earn a spot in the rotation. Just on the basis of their starting pitching, methinks the Yankees will reach the post-season for the 17th time in 18 seasons.