RHP Hiroki Kuroda returning to Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner says
Lost one, got one, kept one.
Robinson Cano is leaving the Yankees, Carlos Beltran is coming back to New York and Hiroki Kuroda is staying in town.
On a hectic day doing business in the Bronx, baseball’s richest team learned Friday that Cano had decided to bolt for Seattle. So the Yankees moved quickly to bring in Beltran’s bat, hours after retaining a key pitcher in Kuroda.
Free-agent outfielder Curtis Granderson also left to join the Mets across town. But the Yankees hadn’t shown much interest in re-signing Granderson after he turned down their $14.1 million qualifying offer last month.
Cano was a different story. New York offered the free-agent second baseman $175 million over seven years.
Instead, he reached an agreement with the Mariners, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Friday. ESPN reported earlier in the day that the contract was worth $240 million for 10 years.
The person told the AP that the deal was pending a physical that had not yet been scheduled. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement.
"He was a great Yankee. He was a great player. I think everybody tried hard to get the deal done. We just never got close enough obviously," Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. "We wish him the best. We hope he has a long, healthy career."
Beltran and the Yankees agreed Friday night to a $45 million, three-year contract, two people familiar with the deal said.
The All-Star outfielder’s agreement was detailed to the AP on condition of anonymity because it was subject to a physical and had not yet been announced.
The 36-year-old Beltran is an eight-time All-Star who played for the Mets from 2005-11, when he was dealt to San Francisco. He signed a $26 million, two-year contract with St. Louis before the 2012 season and reached the World Series for the first time this year.
Much earlier in the day, Steinbrenner confirmed Kuroda will return for a third season in the Bronx.
"Kuroda is coming back," he said outside the team’s spring training complex in Florida.
Kuroda’s return fills one of three holes in the rotation behind CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova. The right-hander, who turns 39 in February, got off to a strong start last season before fading down the stretch. He finished 11-13 with a 3.31 ERA in 32 starts covering 201 1-3 innings.
Several reports indicated the deal was for one year at about $16 million. Last month, Kuroda declined a $14.1 million qualifying offer from New York.
Also on Friday, the Yankees finalized a $3 million, one-year contract with utilityman Kelly Johnson. The 31-year-old is an eight-year big league veteran and hit .235 with 16 homers and 52 RBIs in 366 at-bats this year for Tampa Bay.
Johnson played third base last season for the first time in his big league career, making 12 starts, and could see time there next year. Alex Rodriguez’s status is uncertain as he contests his 211-game drug suspension. Johnson has mostly played second base in his career.
What a week it’s been for the Yankees as they overhaul their roster after missing the playoffs for only the second time in 19 years.
New York introduced new catcher Brian McCann at a news conference Thursday and has a pending $153 million, seven-year agreement with outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
When the deals for Ellsbury, Beltran and Kuroda are finalized, the Yankees will have committed about $172 million to 13 players for their 2014 luxury-tax payroll.
That would leave them approximately $5 million to spend if they intend to stay under the $189 million threshold, which includes all players on the 40-man roster and $11 million to $12 million for benefits.
It appears unlikely New York would remain under the threshold unless Rodriguez is suspended for most of the season, which would relieve the Yankees of much of his $25 million salary.
"We’re going to keep going," Steinbrenner said. "We’re still looking at all the same guys that we were looking at a week ago or two ago. We’re going to continue to improve. We’re not done spending."