Friday, January 13, 2012

Yankees Acquire Pineda for Montero; Sign Kuroda

Just about an hour and a half ago (around 7:30 p.m. EST) the Yankees almost broke the Twittersphere. 

First, news started breaking that the Yankees had acquired Mariners No. 2 pitcher Michael Pineda and 19-year-old pitching prospect Jose Campos for catcher Jesus Montero, who kickstarted the Yankees when he made his debut in September and Hector Noesi, a promising young pitcher in the Yankees system.  Noesi made a few spot starts for the Yankees and was lights out of the bullpen as well. 

Jack Curry of the YES Network also reported that the Yankees agreed to terms with Hiroki Kudora.  Kuroda, 36, has spent his entire four year major league career with the Dodgers.  He was 13-16 with a 3.07 ERA last season with 161 strikeouts.   

In Pineda, the Yankees received a solidified No. 2 starter behind ace CC Sabathia.  Pineda, a 6 foot 7 right-hander, was 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA who made the All Star team as a rookie last season.  Pineda had a 3.03 ERA in the first half of the season but fizzled out in the second half with a 5.12 ERA, which could be attributed to a Mariners team that hit rock bottom last season. 

Campos, spent his second year in the minors at low A-ball in 2011.  He was 5-5 with a 2.32 ERA with 85 strikeouts and just 13 walks in 81.1 innings pitched. 

Brian Cashman finally found the right suitor to trade away Montero.  Montero, the 21-year-old catcher was most likely going to split time at catcher and DH, which was already a crowded enough position for the Yankees.  Montero played in 18 games for the Yankees and hit .328 with 4 home runs and 12 RBI's. For those who believed that Montero would take over the catcher's position from Russell Martin may be disappointed but, Pineda should prove to be more valuable to the Yankees. 

The piece of the puzzle that the Yankees may regret trading the most is Noesi.  Just 24, Noesi made starts for the Yankees and appeared in 28 more.  Overall, he was 2-2 with a 4.47 ERA.  He stuck out 45 over 56.1 innings pitched. 

A few days ago, starting pitching seemed to be one of the Yankees weaknesses.  Now, the Yankees have an overload of starting pitching.  In Sabathia, Pineda, Nova, Kuroda they have four proven starters.  The fifth starter however is up for grabs.  There are three possible pitchers that could win the fifth starter's role in AJ Burnett, Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia.  Expect a trade in the near future of one of the three for perhaps, another bat. 

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