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Yankees to sign Hiroki Kuroda

Greg Fiume

It looks like Hiroki Kuroda will be returning to the Bronx for a third season as the two sides have agreed to a new deal worth $16 million for the 2014 season. The Yankees had wanted the Japanese right-hander back for some time now, but they were unsure whether or not Kuroda wanted to retire, return to Japan, or continue to play for them. Brian Cashman spoke about his optimism to re-sign him on Thursday and it turns out the deal was signed that night.

Kuroda will earn a $1 million raise in his age-39 season after making $15 million in 2013, despite falling off at the end of last season. The Yankees must be confident that he won't experience a decline like that again, because he's been one of their best pitchers since originally signing in 2012. His contract will contain the same incentive bonuses as his last contract: $250,000 at 190 innings pitched and another at 210 innings. If he reaches both incentives, Kuroda's final contract would be worth $16.5 million, though he only reached 210 in 2012, missing by 8.2 innings in 2013.

Now with Hiroki Kuroda back in the fold, the Yankees rotation includes CC Sabathia, Kuroda, Ivan Nova, and two empty spots that could be filled by anyone at this point. They will want to sign Masahirok Tanaka, but if they can't win the negotiating rights for him they will have to look elsewhere.