PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 27: Starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda #18 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on September 27, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Yankees Free Agency Rumors: Andruw Jones Latest Player To Return To New York

The New York Yankees appear to be focused on bolstering their starting pitching for the 2012 season

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Yankees' Jorge Posada To Announce Retirement Soon, According To Report

Longtime Yankees catcher Jorge Posada will announce his retirement within the next two weeks, according to a report.


Yankees Not Interested in Hiroki Kuroda?

According to the Daily News the Yankees denied reports that they made a contract offer to Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda, the 36 year-old veteran, has pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers the last four seasons.

It has been reported that the Yankees offered Kuroda a one year deal worth 12 million dollars. A club official, however, responded with "there has been no offer". 

The Yankees inquired about Kuroda at last year's trade deadline, but Kuroda was unwilling to waive his no-trade clause.

Last year he had a career low 3.07 ERA, but his career-high 3.78 FIP suggests that Kuroda may have been more fortunate last season than in previous seasons. He did still manage to strike out 7.17 batters per game – the second highest of his career – and his fastball still sits at a respectable 92 miles per hour, on average. Batters swing and miss at Kuroda's offerings 10.3 percent of the time.

-- See Pinstripe Alley for more about the Yankees


Hiroki Kuroda Free Agency Rumors: Yankees Reportedly Make $12 Million Offer

The New York Yankees have reportedly made free-agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda a one-year contract offer worth $12 million. General manager Brian Cashman and the Yankees apparently were not reading when I wrote recently that Kuroda did not appear to be a fit for the Yankees rotation.

Kuroda is a 36-year-old who compiled a 41-46 record in four seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers after coming over from Japan. He was 13-16 with a 3.07 ERA in 202 innings pitched last season.

Kuroda had previously expressed a desire to stay in Los Angeles, or at least on the West Coast. The Dodgers, though, do not want Kuroda back and he has expressed willingness to pitch on the East Coast.

Kuroda would join a rotation of CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia if he signs with the Yankees. There is also still speculation that the Yankees will be among the bidders for Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish, who announced Thursday that he will be posted to the big leagues.


C.J. Wilson Free Agency Rumors: Yankees Turn Down Meeting

The New York Yankees have been down-playing any real interest in free-agent starting pitcher CJ. Wilson for a while, and have now reportedly turned down a proposed visit by the guy considered the top starting pitcher available in free agency.

It’s About The Money wonders if the Yankees are feigning disinterest simply to drive Wilson’s price down. That, of course, would fit general manager Brian Cashman’s style of swooping in later rather than trying to set the market.

CBS Sports reported that the Anaheim Angels and Miami Marlins have expressed interest in Wilson, but that Wilson’s asking price is currently $100 million. The Washington Nationals are also reportedly in the Wilson sweepstakes.

Perhaps the Yankees really don’t want Wilson. They have hinted that they are done free-agent shopping, not that anyone believed that.

Whether they eventually get in on the Wilson bidding or not it is hard to believe the Yankees would enter next season with virtually the same unsatisfying starting rotation they had in 2011.


Yankees Free Agency Rumors 2011: New York Done Shopping Already?

I am having a hard time believing Andrew Marchand's report today that "the Yankees might just sign Freddy Garcia and not do much else this offseason." I might agree with, and approve of, Marchand's assertion that there is "almost no way" the Yankees sign C.J. Wilson to a lucrative contract. I can't believe, though, that they would do nothing.

What fun would that be? The Winter Meetings aren't even here yet, and we are getting reports that the Yankees are done shopping? Can't be. That's too un-Yankee-like, plus it would pretty much doom them to another season of being good enough to get to the playoffs, but having no shot at getting through them and having a shot at another Series title.

Here is what Marchand wrote:

Unless the Yankees trade Nick Swisher, it is hard to see where they add to the offense. Maybe Yoenis Cespedes could be signed as the Yankees look toward Swisher's free agency after this year.

On the pitching side, the Yankees don't really like the prices vs. talent of any of the starters. Could they make a huge splash with Yu Darvish? That seems possible, even with their Kei Igawa experience. There is almost no way they are signing C.J. Wilson. Mark Buehrle may be better suited for the National League, in their opinion. Edwin Jackson is no better than what they have. Roy Oswalt has a back issue that concerns them. Hiroki Kuroda likes life in Los Angeles or Japan.

Marchand goes on to ask if his readers believe the Yankees will make a major move this offseason. 

I don't know if it will be major or not, but I just find it hard to believe that general manager Brian Cashman could look at this pitching staff, throw his cards on the table and take the rest of the winter off. 


Freddy Garcia Re-Signs With New York Yankees

According to the New York Post, the Yankees have re-signed veteran right-hander, Freddy Garcia, to a one-year deal worth $4 million.

The 35 year-old Garcia went 12-8 for the Yankees last season with a solid 3.62 ERA. However; according to FanGraphs, Garcia recorded a FIP of 4.12 and an xFIP of 4.36 last year, foreshadowing a potential drop-off in the veteran's production going forward.

Garcia's average fastball was 87.2 miles per hour last season, the lowest of his career. Fortunately he was able to get ahead of hitters all season, throwing a first-pitch strike 62 percent of the time, and had batters swinging and missing on 8.7 percent of his pitches – up from 7.2 percent in 2009.

Based on the advanced metrics, a slight regression is be expected from Garcia, but he should be solid enough to justify the one-year, $4-million dollar deal the Yankees just inked him to.

-- See Pinstripe Alley for more about the Yankees.

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