By Tim Kelly-Host,Owner, and Founder of The Real Sports Talk
Follow Tim on Twitter @KashKelly_TRST
Many baseball critics, myself included, questioned if Hiroki Kuroda would be able to pitch at a high level, in the pitching death trap known as the AL East. Those many, again myself included, ended up looking foolish as Kuroda posted career highs in wins, innings pitched, complete games and WAR, in his first season with the Bronx Bombers.
Today the Yanks rewarded the free agent, who had been courted by both the Angels and Dodgers, by giving him a one-year extension worth between 15 and 16 million. The deal will guarantee Kuroda 15 million, and based off of his performance Kuroda can earn an extra million.
While many believed Kuroda was interested in a return to the west coast or even to the Japanese league, Kuroda made is clear he is excited to be returning to the defending AL East Champions.
“I am very happy and excited to re-sign with the Yankees,” Kuroda said, shortly after word of his new deal broke.
Kuroda likely could have gotten two years, maybe for less money annually, on the open market. The fact that he accepted a one-year deal shows that Kuroda is pondering a return to the Japanese league after his 2013 campaign with the Yankees.
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