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.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.