Yankees Sign Hiroki Kuroda: A Busy Night in the Bronx

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Hiroki Kuroda #18 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning at Dodger Stadium on September 22, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

What a night.

First, Jesus Montero gets shipped out of town for Michael Pineda, and now Brian Cashman finally gets the Japanese pitcher he has lusted after for almost a year.

While Hiroki Kuroda is no spring chicken—the righty turns 37 next month—the Yankees have signed him to a one-year deal for between $10 and $11 million, pending a physical.

Kuroda has only pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers over his four-year major league career, but the veteran has the ability to pitch in the AL East, arguably baseball's toughest division.

With the Dodgers, an average season for Kuroda has been 10-12 with a 3.45 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with 155 strikeouts in 177 innings pitched. He also has a 48.6 percent ground-ball rate, something that will serve him well in Yankee Stadium.

Kuroda joining the Yankees gives them one of their deepest rotations in years: C.C. Sabathia, Michael Pineda, Kuroda, Ivan Nova and either Phil Hughes, AJ Burnett or Freddy Garcia as the fifth starter.

Consider that before you sat down for dinner this evening, the Yankees rotation looked like this: C.C. Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, AJ Burnett and Freddy Garcia.

That's a huge difference and a massive upgrade to the one area that the Yankees were increasingly vulnerable in.

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So Brian Cashman finally got what was at the top of his Christmas list—just a few weeks late.

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