Yankees

Yankees Get Their Guy, Agree To 1-Year Deal With Kuroda

Japanese Import Came Up Big In 2012, Picking Up Slack For Oft-Injured Sabathia
Hiroki Kuroda (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Hiroki Kuroda (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees solidified their starting rotation Tuesday, agreeing to terms with right-hander Hiroki Kuroda on a one-year contract, WFAN’s Jon Heyman reported.

Kuroda, who was paid a $10 million base salary and earned another $1 million in performance bonuses last season, had earlier rejected a guaranteed $13.3 million, one-year offer from the Bombers. He will get $15 million in 2013.

“I am very happy and excited to re-sign with the Yankees,” Kuroda said 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.  It was a tough decision for me to make, but at the end of the day, I wanted to try to win a championship with the teammates that I went to battle with last season.”

The move again gives the Yankees a solid 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation. Kuroda, who will turn 38 prior to spring training, helped carry the Yankees last season while CC Sabathia was sidelined by two separate stints on the disabled list, going 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA in 33 starts.

There were questions about whether Kuroda, after pitching for many years in Japan before spending four years in the National League with the Dodgers, could adapt to the American League, but he went out and limited opposing hitters to a .249 average, while striking out 167 and walking 51 in 219 2/3 innings.

The Yankees are still waiting to hear what Andy Pettitte’s intentions are for next season. If he wants to play and is re-signed, the Yankees’ top four starters will be the same as last season, with Pettitte sliding in at No. 3 ahead of Phil Hughes, who finished tied with Kuroda for the team lead in wins in 2012.