UPDATE: Joel Sherman of the New York Post says it’s a done deal: One year, $16 million with some bonuses for innings pitched.
Yesterday general manager Brian Cashman seemed optimistic about Hiroki Kuroda ultimately deciding to return to the Yankees and now Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the two sides are close to a one-year deal.
It sounds like things will play out almost exactly like last offseason, when Kuroda turned down the Yankees’ qualifying offer for $14.1 million and later re-signed for $15 million. Heyman speculates that he’ll likely get around $16 million this time.
Being able to re-sign a pitcher as good as Kuroda on a pair of one-year deals is a coup for the Yankees, as he’s consistently been a top-of-the-rotation starter and, even at age 39, is coming off a season in which he threw 201 innings with a 3.38 ERA.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.