The late-night hours continued to be money time for this year's Winter Meetings, as Jon Lester signed a 6-year/$155 million deal with the Chicago Cubs last night. All along the Yankees said they weren't in on Lester and it turns out they were telling the truth. Now that the first big starting pitching deal has been signed, the rest of the market will start to fall into place. More signings could come quickly, and that might not be a great thing for the Yanks, who need multiple starters but have shown no willingness thus far to pursue longer deals. With that in mind, it's time to ask the question. Should the Yankees be going back to Hiroki Kuroda? Really think about it. They need rotation help but they don't want to get pulled into another long-term contract. Kuroda fits that perfectly. If he comes back, he'd only be coming back on a 1-year deal. It'll cost a few bucks to sign him, but as a 1-year investment for a familiar player who's pitched very well in New York, it's money better and more wisely spent for a team looking to at least maintain and at best improve its financial flexibility.
Let's be honest with ourselves. The Yankees probably aren't making the postseason next year even if they sign Max Scherzer and Brandon McCarthy today. To spend that much and miss out again would be another example of how out-of-touch the front office is with baseball reality. What the Yankees need most right now is rotation depth, and Kuroda offers that along with the ability to get back on the FA market next offseason to look for more long-term help. He fills an immediate need, doesn't add any long-term risk or monetary commitment, and let's not forget, has been a pretty damn good pitcher the last 3 years.
There were reports yesterday on the team still not knowing Kuroda's plans and I think that's pretty stupid of the team. Call the guy up, ask him if he's thinking about playing or retiring, and tell him you're interested in bringing him back. If he says he's going to retire or says he doesn't want to come back, fine. No big deal. All that would do is put the Yankees right back where they are right now. If they want clarity on the Kuroda situation before proceeding down other paths, be proactive and go get it. And if they have any interest in bringing Hirok back, go ahead and do it.