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Monday, December 2, 2013
Yanks make offer to Hiroki Kuroda

By Andrew Marchand
ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- The Yankees have extended an offer to starter Hiroki Kuroda in an attempt to entice the right-hander to pitch one more season in the Bronx instead of retiring or returning to Japan to play, a source with knowledge of the discussions told ESPNNewYork.com.

The exact figure of the one-year offer is unknown, but it is expected to be in the $15 million to $16 million range. Kuroda, 38, made $15 million in 2013. Prior to free agency, he turned down the Yankees' qualifying offer of $14.1 million.

Kuroda went 11-13 with a 3.31 ERA last season. For the first four months of the season, he was clearly the Yankees' best starter before fading late in the year. Still, the Yankees believe he is the best option to complement established starters CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova.

Kuroda has flirted with returning to Japan for a few years but has decided to stay each time.

The Yankees ideally envision a rotation of Sabathia, Kuroda, Nova and Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka's major league future is in limbo because MLB and the Japanese league have yet to finalize a new posting agreement, though the sides are negotiating.

The Yankees, a source maintained, are budgeting to go hard after Tanaka, even if he is not posted until after the new year.

The Yankees' fifth starter spot will be a spring training competition between Michael Pineda, David Phelps, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno.