Hiroki Kuroda was said to be deciding between the Yankees, a return to Japan, and retirement this offseason. That doesn’t mean that another club didn’t try and work their way into things, however. The Padres reportedly made a serious push to sign Kuroda before he ultimately agreed to join the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. While Kuroda would have been a solid addition to San Diego’s starting five, it’s hard to feel bad for the Padres given the major acquisitions they’ve already made this winter. Here’s a look at Kuroda’s former team and more out of the AL East..
- Brendan Kuty of the Star-Ledger looked at the Yankees’ acquisition of relievers David Carpenter and Chasen Shreve. After trading effective right-handed reliever Shawn Kelly to the Padres on Monday, Carpenter comes in as a solid replacement who is also younger and cheaper. While the 31-year-old Kelley will hit the open market next season, the 29-year-old Carpenter can’t until 2018. Shreve, meanwhile, could find a spot as the seventh man in the Yanks’ bullpen. The deal, of course, meant giving up once-promising southpaw Manny Banuelos, who will now look to get on track with the Braves.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com looks ahead at what might be in store for the Orioles between now and Opening Day. The O’s figure to add at least one left-handed bat for the outfield and Colby Rasmus appears to be the current favorite for that role. Baltimore executive VP Dan Duquette would also like to add a catcher and a right-handed reliever for the big league club and might make a depth signing by adding a starter in Triple-A Norfolk.
- The Yankees should be excited about pitching coach Larry Rothschild working with the newly-acquired Nathan Eovaldi, Kuty writes. The 24-year-old right hander can bring the heat, but he has yet to make that translate into gaudy strikeout totals. Eovaldi, 25 in February, has a career 6.3 K/9 versus 2.9 BB/9.