SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Hiroki Kuroda #18 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during a game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Tony Medina/Getty Images)
Just moments after we've got confirmation that the New York Yankees have acquired one of baseball's hottest young starting pitchers, we receive news that they've also acquired one of baseball's few remaining good, available veteran starting pitchers. From the YES Network's Jack Curry:
Big night for the Yankees. They have agreed to a 1-year deal with Kuroda, pending a physical. Deal will be between $10 and $11 million.
Big night, indeed. Two hours ago, the Yankees' rotation looked like this:
Now it looks like this:
Look at the difference in those two rotations, and you can see the balance of power in the American League ... well, it didn't exactly shift. The Yankees were the best team in the American League East in 2011, and they look like the best team in the American League East in 2012. The difference is that now there's really no argument at all. Before, you figured if a few things broke right for the Red Sox, they might be right there.
Now, though? Now, 2012 looks like a rebuilding year for the Red Sox, because the Yankees look like they're going to run away and hide, with the division title locked up by the first week in September.