Rapid Reaction II: Yankees sign Kuroda

January, 13, 2012

THE DEAL: Yankees sign Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year, $10 million deal.

WHAT IT MEANS: It means the Yankees have rebuilt their rotation and it will be survival of the fittest for the rest of the starters. A.J. Burnett's leash could be getting a lot shorter or completely cut. Freddy Garcia could be just a sixth starter. Phil Hughes may just be the fifth starter or could possibly go back to the bullpen.

THIS IS WHAT WE KNOW: CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, and Kuroda figure to be in the rotation. This is a very strong rotation. The Yankees have upgraded with Nova and Pineda as legit No. 2 candidates. Kuroda has shown an ability to pitch in the playoffs, too.

THIS IS WHAT NO ONE KNOWS: What will happen to Hughes, Burnett and Garcia? My gut says that Hughes is not going anywhere and has the inside track to be the fifth starter. The Yankees would love to unhook themselves from Burnett, as we wrote earlier this morning. They would love to trade him, but with $33M over the next two years, they would have to eat a lot of money. Burnett could be headed to Siberia. Garcia could get a raw deal since he signed early this winter, thinking he would be in the rotation and now may be stuck as either the sixth or seventh starter. Of course, over 162 games, you need six or seven starters, at least, but still it is not what he was thinking when he inked his deal.

WHAT IS NEXT: Let's look at this with the totality of the night. Do the Yankees get another bat? Again, I don't think they will get a major one; if they do, it will be a minor player. They have wanted to use the DH spot to rest the A-Rods and Jeters, etc. Now, they can do that. They also didn't want to add payroll onto 2014 when they can lower their luxury tax number. They have accomplished both things.

QUESTION OF THE NIGHT: What do you think of both moves?
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »



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Jacoby Ellsbury
.271 16 70 71
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
WM. Tanaka 13
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146