The New York Yankees have reportedly offered starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda a one-year deal worth approximately $16 million. There is no question it’s a smart move by the organization as they attempt to retain a similar starting rotation as last year to make a deep playoff run in 2014.
Kuroda declined New York’s $14.1 million qualifying offer a few weeks ago, which many assumed meant he would retire from Major League Baseball and return to Japan to play out his career. However, the recent offer is definitely something that could very well intrigue the 39-year-old enough to stay with the Yankees.
The right-hander has put forth a terrific two years with New York. Even though Kuroda’s 11-13 record wasn’t exactly what the Yankees had in mind for the 2013 season, he still put forth a solid effort in other statistical categories. He struck out 150 batters and tossed 201 1/3 innings, both of which ranked second among starters on the team behind only ace C.C. Sabathia. Also, Kuroda’s 3.31 earned run average was the best among starters who made at least 21 starts this past season.
I understand that $16 million is a lot for one person who is at an age where velocity is guaranteed to drop off. With that being said, Kuroda is someone who is going to eat up innings for the Yankees, which will be an incredibly important role in the rotation next season.
It will be interesting to see if the veteran agrees to terms or checks out offers from other interested teams.