After rumors that Hiroki Kuroda may prefer to return to Southern California, the Yankees are very confident that they will sign the veteran if he pitches in America in 2013, according to Jayson Stark. There is still a chance that Kuroda could return to his native Japan to finish out his career, but the non-Yankee MLB teams that were said to be interested in him are said to be turning their focus elsewhere now.
Update: Buster Olney says Kuroda and the Yankees have agreed to a one-year deal.
The agreement with the Yankees and Kuroda is for $15 million, with some incentives that are worth less than $1 million.
The team also made some additions to their 40-man roster, adding Manny Banuelos, Ramon Flores, Brett Marshall, Jose Ramirez, Francisco Rondon, and Nik Turley. Rule V protection is a motivating factor for some, of course. Unfortunately, Banuelos will not be keeping his spot, as he's headed for the 60-day DL for practically the entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
In waiver news: the Yankees claimed 26-year-old reliever Mickey Storey from the Astros. Storey had a 3.86 ERA and a 10.1 K/9 in 30 innings for Houston in 2012.
Jon Heyman tweets that the Yankees feel good about their talks with Mariano Rivera concerning his return for 2013, but have not officially heard from Andy Pettitte about his plans for next season.