The Yankees couldn’t have been more happy with the season Hiroki Kuroda had for them this year and have extended him a $13.3 million qualifying offer to bring him back. Hopefully he’ll take it, but there is a chance the Dodgers could get involved and then there is Japan to worry about too.
“I think he enjoyed the experience,” Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild told Justin Terranova of the NY Post about Kuroda’s time in the Bronx. “His decision to some degree is, is this the year to go back to Japan. He feels like he has a debt to the team in Japan that he played for so, he’d like to pitch another year for them before he retires. .“If he’s not I think we have a good chance to re-sign him and play for us or possibly the Dodgers. I know he enjoyed New York.”
Kuroda made 33 starts this year and tossed 219.2 innings with a 3.32 ERA so there is no reason to think that 2013 has to be his final year. So hopefully he decides for at least one more year in America and if he does hopefully it’s another year with the Yankees.
The Yankees are counting on Kuroda coming back for another season. They’ll probably be in touch with other free agent starters, but if Kuroda leaves than they’ll step up their pursuit of a replacement.