For the first time in history (hyperbole … maybe, maybe not) the Red Sox find themselves with the upper-hand on the Yankees and it might allow for Kuroda to leave New York and land in the Boston rotation.
According to an industry source, the Red Sox have "strong interest" in Kuroda, the righty pitcher who not only survived his first year in the American League East, but thrived in his surroundings. Working under a one-year, $10 million deal from the Yankees, Kuroda went 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA over 219 2/3 innings.
The Yankees have offered Kuroda a qualifying offer, which would pay the pitcher $13.3 million for next season if he accepts it by Friday's 5 p.m. deadline. If he declines the offer and signs with another team, the Yankees would receive a draft pick, with Kuroda's new organization having to surrender a pick. (The Red Sox would have to give up their second-round selection, with their first-rounder -- seventh overall -- protected since it resides in the draft's top 10.)
As of Thursday night, it wasn't clear if Kuroda was going to accept the Yankees' qualifying offer.
I don't understand this signing whatsoever, assuming it does happen.
The man is 38 years old. He's a heck of a pitcher, and could certainly help the Sox win a few games next season. But he's still 38 years old. Why add him to a roster that is in the very beginning stages of rebuilding? It doesn't add up.
Unless we're not. Maybe Ben has no interest in taking two or three years to build a solid team. Maybe Lucchino is standing outside Ben's office with a bullhorn shouting "Spend! Spend! Spend!" Maybe the Sox have learned nothing over the past few seasons. And if you read Michael Silverman's piece in the Herald linked below, this may just be the case.
Of course, the Sox could just see Kuroda as a "bridge" (love that term). Someone to give them a solid year and let the Sox fans witness a few extra wins until one of the young arms is ready. Even with a youth movement, the Sox will still be competitive. Kuroda only helps here.
But he's going to be expensive. For the Sox to get him, he'd have to turn down $13 million from New York, so that's the starting point in negotiations. On top of that, Boston would have to flip their second round pick to the Yankees if they do sign him. That's a high price to pay, especially when Boston's farm system could use some more talent.
Rest of the links:
Herald - ‘Free’ to go after names |Troubled Sox should attract free agents | Globe -Red Sox need to win all seasons | Jose Iglesias may be in a good position | WEEI - Red Sox GM Ben Cherington: ‘Fair question’ whether free agents want to come to Boston | Red Sox continue to restructure medical staff | CSNNE - Valentine: Red Sox 'shouldn’t be defined by their record'