New York Yankees Sign Hiroki Kuroda, so Is AJ Burnett on Notice?

Doug RushSenior Analyst IJanuary 13, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 16:  Hiroki Kuroda #18 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 16, 2011 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

It's been a very busy Friday night for the Yankees.

First, they land Mariners starter Michael Pineda in a deal for Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi.

Now, just moments after making the huge trade, they in fact do bring in a free-agent pitcher as well.

According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports and WFAN, the Yankees sign Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year, $10 million deal.

The Yankees always had interest in Kuroda on a one-year deal, and he had just dropped his asking price knowing that his options were dwindling.

Kuroda was 13-16 with a 3.07 ERA in 32 starts, pitching in 202 innings and getting 161 strikeouts in 2011 for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Kuroda originally wanted to return to the Dodgers, but with the signings of Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano, Kuroda knew he was going to have to pick a new home.

We heard the Red Sox were also interested in Kuroda, but the interest never amounted to anything substantive.

Earlier Friday, I had said that the Yankees should look at Roy Oswalt, but if they didn't go for him, Kuroda should be the next option. Now, it appears Kuroda was the first option.

Kuroda brings experience, depth and quality to a rotation especially in need of the depth.

With Kuroda and Pineda now in the fold for the Yankees, you now have to wonder if AJ Burnett is now on notice.

In all honesty, I wouldn't be surprised to see Burnett get traded before the season with the Yankees taking on most of the contract (similar to what the Cubs did in sending Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins and Chicago eating most of the deal).

Rght now, the Yankees rotation is looking like CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Pineda, Kuroda, Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia, along with Burnett.

Which means, right now, the Yankees have much depth in the rotation and Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi have to figure out a game plan.

Getting Kuroda was a good move for the Yankees and, in the end, the right one to make.

In a 24-hour span, the Yankees went from dead silent to making a big splash in landing Pineda and Kuroda in one night.

Now comes the question and future of Burnett with the Yankees.

But for now, Cashman has made two solid moves for 2012.