Yankees pitcher re-signs for 15M

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Yankees pitcher re-signs for 15M

From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- Trying to get under baseball's luxury tax by 2014, the New York Yankees don't mind spending big as long as it's on one-year deals.New York filled one of the slots in its rotation Tuesday, agreeing to a 15 million, one-year contract with No. 2 starter Hiroki Kuroda as they await a decision from Andy Pettitte on whether he wants to return in 2013."It something that I think fits how we've operated here in the last number of years, to do short-term circumstances on high-end players," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.The Yankees will pay the luxury tax on high payrolls for the 10th straight season this year and will hand over more tax money in 2013. But they say they want to get under 2014's threshold of 189 million, which would enable them to get some of their revenue-sharing dollars back. That's why a one-year deal made sense for Kuroda, a right-hander who turns 38 in February.He was the Yankees' most consistent pitcher during the regular season. He went 16-11, tying for the team lead in wins, and led New York with 33 starts and 219 2-3 innings.Cashman called the agreement "a relief.""Hiroki Kuroda chose us on a lesser deal last year and I suspect he's done the same again this year," Cashman said. "By coming here, I suspect that he left money on the table. I suspect it was a very aggressive market on him, and I think it is a reflection of he really enjoyed playing here for this city, for this team, for this organization and with these teammates to come back under the circumstances he's coming back on."After losing six of his first nine decisions, Kuroda finished with a 3.32 ERA that was second among New York starters behind Pettitte's 2.87."I am very happy and excited to re-sign with the Yankees," Kuroda said in a statement. "I am very grateful for all of the interest and all of the offers that I received from the various teams that courted me. It was a tough decision for me to make, but at the end of the day, I wanted to try to win a championship with the teammates that I went to battle with last season."Kuroda joined the Yankees after four seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, was given a 10 million base salary last season and earned 1 million more in performance bonuses based on innings. He turned down a 13.3 million qualifying offer from the Yankees, and he would have cost a new team a selection in June's amateur draft.He joins CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova in the Yankees' projected starting rotation for next season, with David Phelps also a possibility.Pettitte, who came out of retirement to rejoin the Yankees, hasn't decided whether he wants to play next year. Cashman won't say how long he'll wait."Of course, obviously, there's an answer to that question but not one I'm prepared to answer," he said.NOTES:Cashman said SS Derek Jeter is progressing from surgery to repair his broken ankle. "By opening day he's supposed to be ready and full speed," he said. ... Cashman is talking with Mariano Rivera about a new contract and doesn't have any concerns about the closer's recovery from a torn knee ligament. Rivera turns 43 next week. "Mo's never failed. He's never had a failure in his career," Cashman said. ... RHP Michael Pineda, recovering from shoulder surgery, isn't being counted on for the start of the season. He threw on flat ground at Yankee Stadium last week. "He had zip on it," Cashman said.

Giants spring training Day 39: Nuñez receives pair of cortisone shots

Giants spring training Day 39: Nuñez receives pair of cortisone shots

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford will return to camp Thursday, show off their WBC championship medals, and then head to nearby Salt River Fields to take on the Colorado Rockies. It'll be a few more days, however, before the Giants have their full infield on the field. 

Eduardo Nuñez said he actually got two cortisone shots in his right shoulder, since an MRI this week showed “something” in two separate spots. Nuñez asked for the MRI because, while he was able to play and make strong throws, he felt pain on a daily basis. He might DH this weekend, but it'll be a few more days before he's cleared to begin throwing. 

The Giants are hopeful that the shots calm all this down, and Nuñez anticipated being ready for Opening Day. Still, it certainly sounds like this will be a close call. Conor Gillaspie, who is having a huge spring, could get plenty of early time at third. Manager Bruce Bochy doesn't anticipate Nuñez missing Opening Day.

"He should be ready," Bochy said. 

The Giants need all the good injury news they can get. It is expected that Will Smith will announce Friday that he's having Tommy John surgery. 

ICYMI: From this morning, a feature on George Kontos and his rise over the last few years. 

Also, one of the bench candidates, Gordon Beckham, asked for his release. The Giants will soon have to make decisions on Hill and David Hernandez, who have similar retention bonuses due March 28.

GAME RECAP: The Giants played one of their uglier games of the spring, losing 9-2 to King Felix and the Mariners … Matt Moore lasted just 1 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on four hits, two walks, a balk and a wild pitch. It was the same old thing: Moore just all of a sudden lost his command, and because he got up past the 30-pitch mark in the second inning alone, the Giants cut it off. Moore went down to the bullpen and got up to around 80 pitches. He'll make one more start down here, Tuesday against the Cubs ... Joe Panik had a hard double, one of just four hits for the Giants … Chris Marrero hasn’t played a whole lot of left field this spring, and he didn’t show much to the coaches on a couple of opportunities to throw home. The left field situation remains a mystery. 

POSITION BATTLES: Kelby Tomlinson played six innings of left field in a minor league game, and he had to wait until the sixth to get his first and only fly ball. There seemed to be a lot of interest from decision-makers about how Tomlinson fared, and his action today opens up an intriguing possibility. There’s a roster permutation that has the Giants keeping just one reserve outfielder (Gorkys Hernandez) and three backup infielders: Conor Gillaspie, Aaron Hill and Kelby Tomlinson, with the latter two being options in left field. 

FAMILIAR FACE: Angel Pagan made it through the WBC healthy, and he apparently is drawing interest from the Phillies and Blue Jays. Giants people are confident Pagan will get a big league job somewhere over the coming week. 

Giants reliever Will Smith leaning toward season-ending Tommy John surgery

Giants reliever Will Smith leaning toward season-ending Tommy John surgery

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Left-hander Will Smith, a key piece of a revamped bullpen, is leaning toward having Tommy John surgery, manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday night. 

Bochy said surgery was the recommendation of both doctors who examined Smith's elbow this week. Smith will talk to his agent before coming to a final decision on Friday. The procedure would keep Smith out the entire 2017 season and likely would cause him to miss the start of the 2018 season.

Smith, 27, missed the first month of camp because of pain in his throwing elbow. He returned March 17, but during a March 20 outing he again felt pain and called for a trainer. A second round of diagnostics revealed a strain and a sprain in the elbow. Smith saw team orthopedist Dr. Ken Akizuki in San Francisco and flew to Los Angeles this week to get a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlen-Jobe Clinic. 

"They had the same opinion," Bochy said. "There is a tear there. You can try to rehab it and if that doesn't work you're behind a couple of months ... It's not a definite he's going to have it done, but two doctors are in agreement on what this is."

Smith was expected to serve as the late lefty for the Giants, getting setup work in the seventh and eighth innings. With Smith out, the Giants will lean on young lefties Steven Okert, Josh Osich and Ty Blach. 

"We're going to have to have someone step up and help us in the seventh and eighth," Bochy said. "That was going to be will's role. He's a guy we were leaning on."

Smith was acquired from the Brewers at the deadline last season in exchange for right-hander Phil Bickford (who is currently serving a 50-game suspension) and catcher Andrew Susac (who is currently injured). After a shaky start, he finished the regular season with 18 consecutive scoreless appearances. 

The Giants have for the most part avoided Tommy John for 40-man roster pitchers. Hunter Strickland, Derek Law and Josh Osich have all had it during their time in the organization, along with outfielder Mac Williamson. Prospect Ian Gardeck is currently recovering from Tommy John. The last Giants pitcher who was likely headed for the roster before having Tommy John was left-hander Eric Surkamp. He had surgery in 2012.

The timetable is different for every pitcher, but the general consensus is that the procedure sidelines a pitcher for at least a year, and usually closer to 16 months. Matt Moore, Thursday night’s starter, had Tommy John on April 23, 2014. He did not return to a big league mound until July 2, 2015, and even then, he was under restrictions. 

Smith is under team control for two more seasons after this one.