Yankees Make Big Friday Splash, Sign Two Arms

By RONALD BLUM
AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) _ The New York Yankees made a major push to
bolster their starting rotation Friday night, agreeing to terms
with right-hander Hiroki Kuroda on a $10 million, one-year contract
shortly after acquiring young righty Michael Pineda from the
Seattle Mariners.

A person familiar with Kuroda’s signing told The Associated
Press the deal is contingent on the 36-year-old former Los Angeles
Dodgers starter passing a physical. The person spoke on condition
of anonymity because there has not yet been an announcement.
Kuroda’s deal also includes performance bonuses, according to the
person.

Kuroda was 13-16 with a 3.07 ERA for the Dodgers this year and
41-46 with a 3.45 ERA in four seasons in Los Angeles after a long
career in Japan.

Right after being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs,
general manager Brian Cashman said his priority for the Yankees
this offseason was pitching. But he balked at bidding on the top
free agents in what was considered a weak year for starters.

Until Friday, their biggest moves were retaining CC Sabathia
before he could opt out of his contract and bringing back Freddy
Garcia after a solid 2011.

Along with Pineda, fifth in this year’s AL Rookie of the Year
voting, the Yankees now have seven starters heading into spring
training with A.J. Burnett, Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes also
returning.

Nova finished a spot ahead of Pineda in rookie voting and is in
line to fill a spot. Hughes might be forced to the bullpen after
struggling with injuries and velocity last year.

New York sent power-hitting catcher Jesus Montero, the
organization’s top prospect, to Seattle for the hard-throwing
Pineda, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The 22-year-old Pineda was 6-2 on May 21 with a 2.16 ERA and
finished 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA. In 171 innings he gave up just 133
hits and struck out 173.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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