clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Hiroki Kuroda returning to Japan in 2015

New, 47 comments

So long, Hirok.

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Mark another potential option for the Yankees' 2015 rotation off the list, as Hiroki Kuroda has reportedly decided to return to Japan next season. It never really seemed like talks between the Yankees and Kuroda on the subject of a return next year really got anywhere after Brian Cashman repeatedly said he had not heard from Kuroda's agent. The team went out and signed lefty Chris Capuano and traded for Nathan Eovaldi to supplement an incredibly shaking starting rotation of Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, and CC Sabathia, all of whom have very scary injury concerns.

Kuroda was very solid in three years for the Yankees after coming over from the Dodgers prior to the 2012 season. He fell just one inning short of 200 in 2014 for the only time since joining the Yankees and his consistency was a welcome part of the rotation over the last few seasons. He was the only member of the starting rotation out of spring training to not get injured a year ago.

Without a surprise push for Max Scherzer or James Shields, the rotation for next season may look pretty much as it does now. The picture gets a little more bleak if Sabathia's knees or Tanaka's UCL can't hold up over a full season. There aren't a lot of minor league options ready to step in like Shane Greene did in 2014 either. Going after a starting pitcher seems to make a lot of sense for the team that maintains they can be competitive in 2015, but they may choose to roll with what they have over handing out another big contract for a team that seems to have more problems than available solutions.