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Kuroda signs one-year, $16 million deal

NEW YORK -- The Yankees have reached an agreement with Hiroki Kuroda, bringing the right-hander back to the Bronx with a one-year, $16 million contract.

The club officially announced the signing on Saturday, one day after Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner told the Associated Press that "Kuroda is coming back." General manager Brian Cashman said that he spoke four times with agent Steve Hilliard on Thursday to hammer out details of Kuroda's contract.

Kuroda, who turns 39 in February, was 11-13 with a 3.31 ERA in 32 starts for the Yankees last season. The $16 million contract represents a $1 million raise over his salary in 2013; he had earlier declined a $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Yankees.

Retaining Kuroda helps to solidify the rotation, coming after Cashman said that his goal was to secure 400 more innings behind CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova.

Kuroda has been a workhorse, exceeding 200 innings in each of the last three seasons, including a career-high 219 2/3 innings in his first Yankees campaign back in 2012.

The mix of in-house rotation candidates behind the Yankees' three guaranteed starters includes David Phelps, Adam Warren and Michael Pineda. The Yankees would like to add at least one more starting pitcher this winter.

Kuroda was 14-10 with a 2.33 ERA in his first 24 starts of the season before going into a mid-August tailspin. He was 0-6 with a 6.56 ERA in his last eight starts of the year, which manager Joe Girardi attributed to "wear and tear, and us maybe having to push him a little harder than we wanted to."

Girardi said that increased workload would not scare him off leaning on Kuroda heavily again next season.

"I would hope not. I think he'll be OK," Girardi said. "He seemed to respond pretty well coming back last year."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for

New York Yankees, Hiroki Kuroda