Saturday, November 10, 2012
The Yankees were sincerely hoping that Hiroki Kuroda would accept the Yankees' $13.3MM qualifying offer and avoid free agency. They weren't so lucky. Kuroda, along with Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano rejected the Yankees one year offering, meaning the Yankees will get compensation if any of the three signs with another team.
Everyone knew that Swisher and Soriano would turn down the offer, but the Yankees hoped the raise from last year's $10MM salary would be enough to get Kuroda to return. Instead, Kuroda will hit the open market and there is still the possibility he could return to Japan as well.
The Red Sox are, of course, one of the teams that have an interest in Kuroda, who is also being sought by his old LA Dodgers squad.
The Yankees will have a tougher time trying to get Soriano to return since he will be looking for a large, multi-year deal based on his 2012 season as closer. Swisher doesn't fit into the Yankees plans any more - meaning they know how productive he is during the regular season and how flat out horrible he is in the post-season.