MLB Rumors: Hiroki Kuroda Will Decide Between New York Yankees and Japan

Kenny DeJohnAnalyst IIINovember 4, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 14:  Hiroki Kuroda #18 of the New York Yankees reacts in the eighth inning against the Detroit Tigers during Game Two of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 14, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Hiroki Kuroda was arguably the most reliable starter for the New York Yankees last season, tossing 219.2 innings with a 3.32 ERA.

The 37-year-old's one-year, $10 million contract proved to be a genius move by general manager Brian Cashman.

Kuroda has already said that he is "content" to take another one-year deal next season, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (h/t River Avenue Blues). The Yankees responded by making him the qualifying offer of $13.3 million.

The Yankees aren't assured of having Kuroda back in 2013 just yet, though. David Lennon of Newsday reports that Kuroda will decide between the Yankees and the Hiroshima Toyo Carp for next season.

Kuroda pitched for the Carp prior to making his major league debut in 2008 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, spending 11 years in Hiroshima.

Money likely won't be the reason why Kuroda may choose to go back to Japan, as the qualifying offer is certainly a very friendly number.

Even though the Yankees made the qualifying offer, they will not be given draft pick compensation if he chooses to go back to Japan.

Kuroda is one of the top pitchers on the market this offseason, and per usual, the Yankees are in need of reliable starters to fill out their rotation.

CC Sabathia is the obvious workhorse, but there are questions regarding the back of the rotation. Is Andy Pettitte returning? Can Ivan Nova fix his woes from 2012? Will Phil Hughes sustain his success?

Bringing Kuroda back would be a very, very wise move by Cashman, and it's a move that I expect him to pull out all the stops to make.