The New York Yankees won more games than any other American League team in 2012, and they accomplished this feat with questions hovering over their starting rotation for a good portion of the season. Consistency from the Yankees starters was scarce beyond C.C. Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda, with the latter hitting recently hitting free agency. On Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Yankees reached an agreement with the Japanese right hander to return for one more season.
Kuroda’s deal is reportedly worth $15 million, plus performance based incentives that amount to less than $1 million. The Los Angeles Dodgers, Kuroda’s first Major League team, were believed to be interested in signing the 37-year old as well. Multiple reports cited a return to Japan as an option that Kuroda was also weighing.
Surprisingly, Kuroda made a near-seamless transition from the pitcher-friendly environment of Dodger Stadium to the compact surroundings of Yankee Stadium. Kuroda saw a marginal uptick to his HR/FB rate, while setting Major League career highs in innings pitched (219.2), strikeouts (167) and wins (16).
Kuroda earned $10 million on a one-year deal with the Yankees in 2012. He has posted 3.42 ERA, 3.62 FIP, 3.63 xFIP, 690 K and 1.18 WHIP in 918.2 IP since making his Major League debut in 2008.