After two seasons with the New York Yankees, veteran right-hander Hiroki Kuroda has agreed to a one-year deal to remain in the Bronx. MLB Roster Moves' Twitter confirmed the news Saturday:
The @Yankees sign RHP Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year contract.— MLBRosterMoves (@MLBRosterMoves) December 7, 2013
New York Post reporter Joel Sherman first had the news:
Kuroda 1-yr, $16M deal with #Yankees was finalized last nite with same bonus package as '13: $250G for 190/210IP plus intepreter.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 6, 2013
Since joining the Los Angeles Dodgers from Japan in 2008, Kuroda has been the perfect model of consistency.
In his six seasons in the majors, he has pitched less than 180 innings just once, with his ERA never rising above 3.76, and his WHIP never above 1.22. In the last four seasons, he has struck out 159, 161, 167 and 150 batters in 196.1, 202.0, 219.2 and 201.1 innings, respectively.
Kuroda may not be overly explosive or flashy, but you can feel confident that you're going to get production right around his career-average numbers: 3.40 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 140 strikeouts in 187.0 innings.
What will Kuroda's ERA be in 2014?
The 38-year-old carried a 2.38 ERA into August with the Yankees last season but fell apart in the final two months of the season. He gave up 18 earned runs in 31.2 August innings, and 19 in 30.0 September innings, dropping his final ERA to 3.31.
That shaky finish likely made him lose out on a few extra bucks, but in a relatively weak free-agent pitching class, there was still plenty of interest. In fact, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, manager Joe Girardi shrugged it off to "wear and tear, and us maybe having to push him a little harder than we wanted to."
Many might worry about his age, but Kuroda, someone who mixes speeds well and has a nice repertoire of pitches, likely has a few more seasons under his belt.
Girardi will be hoping that's the case, as Kuroda figures to slot right back into the top of his rotation.