New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Starter Hiroki Kuroda has signed a one-year deal worth $15 million to remain with the New York Yankees, saying he will “try to win a championship with the teammates that I went to battle with last season”.
Under the new deal, Kuroda will also earn incentives that are worth less than $1 million, according to sources.
Kuroda was the Yankees’ best starting pitcher last season, going 16-11 with 3.32 ERA in his first year in the American League.
“I am very happy and excited to re-sign with the Yankees,” said Kuroda in a statement. “I am very grateful for all of the interest and all of the offers that I received from the various teams that courted me.”
The 37-year-old Kuroda led the Yankees in innings pitched (219 2/3) andshared the team lead in victories with Phil Hughes. His ERA was lower than that of any other starter other than Andy Pettitte, who appeared in just 12 games.
Kuroda accomplished all of that with the lowest run support of any Yankees’ starter. He also pitched in two postseason games, going 0-1 with a 2.81 ERA.
“I thought Hiroki did a phenomenal job for us last year, and we had a strong preference,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “He’s a pro.”
Aside from the Yankees, Kuroda also received offers from his former team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Japan-based squads. Before bringing his talent to the United States, he pitched 11 seasons for the Hiroshima Karp.
“The guy has proven everything over here,” Cashman said. “He pitched successfully in the National League. He came over to the American League East and pitched successfully over here. He pitched on short rest. He pitched successfully in the postseason.”
Earlier, the Yankees had made a $13.3 million qualifying offer to Kuroda when he became a free agent after the conclusion of the World Series, but the offer was rejected.
Kuroda’s signing will give the Yankees five starters, including CC Sabathia, Hughes, Ivan Nova and David Phelps. The Yankees are also awaiting word from Pettitte if he will return next season.
The Yankees are expected to re-sign Mariano Rivera to close and are pursuing a new contract with catcher Russell Martin.