According to multiple reports the Yankees bolstered their starting rotation through two separate moves, acquiring Seattle right-hander Michael Pineda and free agent righty Hiroki Kuroda.
The 22-year-old Pineda was acquired via a trade for the Yankees' top prospect, catcher/designated hitter Jesus Montero. Also going to New York was right-handed pitcher Hector Noesi, while Single-A hurler Jose Campos was sent along with Pineda to the Yanks. It is the second time Seattle attempted to trade for Montero, who was slated to be the centerpiece of a July, 2010 trade which would have sent pitcher Cliff Lee to New York. The Mariners backed out at the last minute, instead choosing to accept Texas' offer of first baseman Justin Smoak.
Pineda, who is still one year away from arbitration, is considered one of the top young starting pitchers in the American League, having made the AL All-Star team in 2011 after beginning his rookie season 8-6 with a 3.03 ERA. The righty did slump in the second half, going 1-4 with a 5.12 ERA before finishing '11 with a 9-10 mark and 3.74 ERA.
The 21-year-old Montero, who was slated for designated hitting duties for the Yankees in '11, played in 18 games for New York last season, hitting .328 with four home runs and a .996 OPS. Noesi, 24, pitched in 30 games for the Yankees in '11, starting twice. He finished at 2-2 with a 4.47 ERA.
According to Jack Curry of the YES Network, the Yankees also agreed to terms with Kuroda, the 36-year-old right-hander. According to ESPN.com's Buster Olney the agreement is a one-year deal worth $10 million.
The Red Sox were interested in Kuroda, but because of organizational budgetary constraints, they weren't able to match the Yankees' offer without shedding payroll via another roster move. As for Pineda, a major league source suggested that the Red Sox didn't have a hitting prospect Seattle valued as much as Montero, saying it would have taken a lot more than just Ryan Lavarnway, whom some in baseball saw as an equal to Montero by September of last season.
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