Measuring the Best Option

'Kuroda' photo (c) 2010, Aaron Haedt - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/The offseason is still young, but there have already been changes to the market. Early on I thought Mark Buehrle would be the best option if he would be willing to come to Boston. He is a solid, consistent and healthy option. He has drawn a lot of interest this offseason and may have several offers already. Recently though, a front office favorite in Boston — Hiroki Kuroda — has become available and even shown interest in moving off the West Coast.

This weekend the Dodgers signed Chris Capuano who was another good option, but has a dubious history with two Tommy John surgeries on his elbow already. That gives the Dodgers a pretty full rotation leaving Kuroda on the outside with no room to return. It could be a posturing move, but after denying trades away from the west coast before his agent said he is open to a move this season.

At 37 years old Kuroda is aging, but he is looking for a one year deal, making him an interesting option for a team with two players out in 2012 with Tommy John Surgery. According to early rumors he is looking for a one year deal with a value around $12 million. According to Fangraphs.com he has been worth $52.8 million in his four seasons in MLB, and an average of $13.65 million. In 2011 his value was equated to $10.7 million making him a solid, but not spectacular year like he had in 2010 when he totaled 4.1 fWAR.

Taking this all into account offering Kuroda $10-12 million for 2012 seems like a reasonable idea, but something to take into account is the move from Dodger Stadium and the NL West to Fenway Park and the AL East. The obvious response is his numbers will suffer and I agree with that. Likely an adjustment in his K/BB from the solid 3.21, but shouldn’t fall much and probably still near 3. That will largely be a factor of the league.

His home runs should stay fairly constant even though he moves out of Dodger Stadium. This year Dodger Stadium was a strong park for left handed power hitting, inflating home runs 17 percent. That is a big switch to Fenway which deflated left handed home runs by 21 percent. Overall Fenway is more of a hitter’s park with a big boost to doubles, but Kuroda shouldn’t suffer too much due to park factors.

It looks like Kuroda makes a lot of sense as a short term fix, but unlike other one year deals he isn’t as big of an injury question. If his deal is between $10-12 million he makes a lot of sense as your number four pitcher for 2012. He has more upside even moving to Boston than Buehrle, but I would rank both at the top of my list to fill out the rotation.

Categories: Boston Red Sox

After taking an interest in sabermetrics and statistical analysis Troy began trying to use it to an advantage in fantasy baseball. He started the website RotoSavants.com and also spent time at HardballTimes.com and FantasyPros911.com. After a few years the interest in the Red Sox drew him to start a Red Sox-oriented site (Yawkey Way Academy) with fellow writer Lee Perrault. A short time later he joined Fire Brand. Writer from: December 14, 2009 – July 24, 2010, March 3, 2011 – May 10, 2012.

9 Responses to “Measuring the Best Option” Subscribe

  1. marcos December 5, 2011 at 12:13 PM #

    the red sox do not have any money to spend
    http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-so

  2. Aaron December 5, 2011 at 1:04 PM #

    I'd love to see Kuroda in Boston next year but always heard that he was pretty set on the West Coast. Where's you see otherwise, Troy?

    • ChipBuck December 5, 2011 at 8:47 PM #

      @Aaron – He recently indicated that he is open to sign anywhere. He's reportedly looking for a one year deal worth around $12M.

  3. Mr Punch December 5, 2011 at 2:56 PM #

    The Sox will spend money; they have to; and I'm sure a short-term deal is attractive to them Kuroda has a decision to make, obviously – perhaps this is a point where Valentine's Japan background could be persuasive.

    • ChipBuck December 5, 2011 at 8:49 PM #

      Very interesting take.

  4. marcos December 5, 2011 at 3:05 PM #

    i don't know if they have to. they just can't

    • ChipBuck December 5, 2011 at 8:48 PM #

      They can spend money. They just need to get creative. Perhaps sign players to backloaded deals with 2012 at lower cost. They have to spend somewhere. RF/DH/SP are holes we need to fill with someone.

      • marcos December 7, 2011 at 12:35 PM #

        After the major collapse they had i don't know what makes the Red Sox think it's ok to leak out this information about luxury tax. I don't want to hear it. Yea they have a lot of dead money thanks to Eptein but i don't want hear it, this team is too rich. And to make matters worse this two faced bastard keeps taking jabs at Terry Francona, Boston Fans, and the the Red Sox front office on the MLB network. Now they have the most interesting man in the world in Bobby Valentine. He loves ballroom dancing and invented the "wrap", what a clown. Overall what a big joke

  5. Cory December 5, 2011 at 8:39 PM #

    A short term deal with Kuroda would be great. The trick this season is to no overspend. There are a ton of great arms next year–Cain, Danks, Greinke, Hamels, Marcum, Anibal Sanchez.

    The only long term commitment I like is Buehrle.