The New York Yankees have signed right-hander Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year deal worth $15 million, reports Buster Olney of ESPN. Kuroda turned down New York's $13.3 million qualifying offer earlier this offseason.
Kuroda joined the Yankees last offseason after playing the first four years of his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Though he saw success in pinstripes this past season, friends of the veteran starter believed he wanted to return to Southern California, where his children attend school.
In 33 starts, the 37 year-old Kuroda posted a 16-11 record with a 3.32 ERA and a career-high 219.2 innings pitched.
With the return of Kuroda, the Yankees now have added some consistency to their rotation. Ace CC Sabathia recently had surgery to remove bone spurs from his throwing elbow, Andy Pettitte is unsure whether he will retire or return for another season, Michael Pineda is recovering from Tommy John surgery, and Ivan Nova was removed from the rotation late last season due to poor performances. Phil Hughes is also returning next season after winning 16 games with a 4.23 ERA last year.
The Yankees are aiming to lower the team's payroll under $189 million by the start of the 2014 season, so general manager Brian Cashman is focusing on acquiring veteran players with one-year deals this offseason. Kuroda is turning 38 years old in February and would like to return to Japan before his career is over, so he was interested in a short-term deal as well.
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