On Tuesday the New York Yankees announced that they have reached an agreement with right-handed starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda for the 2013 season. The deal will keep Kuroda in Yankees pinstripes for at least one more season and is worth $15 million plus incentives that are worth less than one million dollars.
According to sources with knowledge familiar to the situation Kuroda would have only pitched for the Yankees if he decided to remain in the U.S. instead of making a return to his native country of Japan to pitch despite drawing serious interest from teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers (where Kuroda pitched for four seasons prior to joining the Yankees in 2012) and Los Angeles Angels.
In a release Kuroda said the following about the contract situation, “I am very happy and excited to re-sign with the Yankees. 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.”
Last season Kuroda was one of the Yankees best starting pitchers going 16-11 with 3.32 ERA, 167 strikeouts, three complete games, two shutouts and a 1.17 WHIP in 219 2/3 innings of work. Kuroda also had the fifth highest wins above replacement mark in the American League at 5.2 which was also the highest amongst the Yankees starting pitching by nearly two games with CC Sabathia coming in second with a 3.3 mark.