The Yankees have cleared their first major hurdle this offseason, resigning right-hander Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year deal worth $15 million, sources say. ESPN writer Buster Olney broke the story on Twitter a little while ago. The deal represents a raise for Kuroda, who was previously signed to a one-year $10 million deal.
Kuroda, 37, was the Yankees’ most consistent starting pitcher this past season, going 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA in his first year with New York after coming over from the Dodgers. Kuroda carried his regular season success into the playoffs, going 0-1 with a sparkling 2.84.
It was widely speculated that Kuroda had other suitors; the Dodgers and Red Sox to name a few. He was also rumored to be interested in going back to Japan, where he started his career before coming over to the states. Kuroda will now be penciled into the top of the rotation with ace CC Sabathia. By getting this deal done, the Yankees now put themselves in the position to focus on resigning Andy Pettitte and filling out the rest of the rotation. As winter fast approaches, GM Brian Cashman will be busy trying to improve on the team that made it to the ALCS in 2012.