Every morning we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump...
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.
Globe: AP sources: Yankees sign free agent RHP Kuroda
I don't know what this off-season has done to me, but I just don't care that Hiroki Kuroda is not coming to Boston. It does suck that a semi-decent and one very highly regarded pitcher are going to the Bronx and the Sox are passing everyone up.
Michael Pineda was acquired by way of trade for the Yankees top prospect, Jesus Montero.
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.
Seems like a pretty fair trade, and one can argue the Yankees came out on top. A 9-10 record and 3.74 ERA on that terrible Seattle team is pretty damn good. A young, hard-throwing pitcher in pinstripes pisses me off. Pineda is going to be an excellent pitcher and has been compared to King Felix...Damn.
I guess it is Kuroda's age and career 41-46 record that does not worry me, yet he will have a ton of help in New York. To sum it up, both of these deals make me very upset, more because the reluctance of the Red Sox to not spend money or give any effort to significantly improve the pitching staff. Their 2012 rotation is already a major upgrade from 2011. It's early on a Saturday morning and waking up to the Yankees making moves rather than the Sox has made me rather grumpy.
Related links: ESPN Boston: Yanks upgrade rotation; Sox hope for best | Herald: Mariners trade pitcher Michael Pineda to Yankees | Providence Journal: Yanks strike big by adding Pineda, Kuroda in short order
On Page 2: Ryan Sweeney agrees to a 1-year deal with Boston.
Outfielder Ryan Sweeney has agreed to a $1.75 million, one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox.
Sweeney, who could have filed for arbitration, made $1.4 million last year with the Oakland Athletics. He is expected to compete for playing time in right field, where the Red Sox have a vacancy after deciding not to retain free agent J.D. Drew and trading Josh Reddick to Oakland.
In six seasons, Sweeney has a .283 batting average after hitting .265 with one homer and 25 RBIs in 264 at-bats last season.
Globe: Sweeney takes Boston's $1.75 million, 1-year deal
I guess we could call this a bargain considering the amount of dough shelled out for that position in recent years. Sweeney is nothing impressive and little should be expected from him while in the lineup. He has potential written all over him, but he has given Oakland less than Alex Gonzalez gave to Boston. He is a big guy with the physique of a home run hitter (6' 4", 225 lb.), yet he has not hit more than 6 homers in a season. He will be 27 in February, so he is still young and in the right system, he can gain the knowledge and training he needs to take the next step at the plate. If Sweeney can give the Sox 10 homers and 60 RBI, we can chalk that one up as a win.
Related links: Providence Journal: Sweeney, Red Sox avoid arbitration with agreement
The rest of the links:
Herald: Invitation for Tek possible | Cubs and White Sox poised to make big splash with Cuban prospects | Globe: Is Varitek in line for an invitation | ESPN Boston: Report: Varitek has spring training invite