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Hiroki Kuroda is fine with a one-year contract

Nov 1, 2012, 11:04 PM EDT

Hiroki Kuroda Getty Getty Images

The Yankees are expected to make qualifying offers to both Nick Swisher and Hiroki Kuroda by the end of the day tomorrow. While the motivation with Swisher is to secure draft pick compensation, the Bombers are hoping Kuroda will accept and stick around for another season. They might get their wish.

According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, Kuroda is amenable to a one-year contract. The 37-year-old right-hander wouldn’t have much problem landing a multi-year deal under normal circumstances, but he wants to eventually return to Japan and have something left in the tank when he does it.

Kuroda mulled returning to Japan last offseason before he signed a one-year, $10 million deal with the Yankees. The qualifying offer is worth $13.3 million, so the salary increase could be enough to pique Kuroda’s interest or at least get the ball rolling on a new contract.

Kuroda was unaffected by the switch to the American League this season, posting a 3.32 ERA and 167/51 K/BB ratio over 219 2/3 innings. He has a 3.42 ERA in five seasons stateside. Only 12 pitchers (with at least 800 innings pitched) have a lower ERA during the same timespan.

  1. vallewho - Nov 2, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    Looks like a good situation for Hiroki

  2. natsysammich - Nov 2, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    Yeah not bad…who are the five though?

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 2, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Imagine how much better Yankees pitching will look when they have a healthy Brett Gardner to replace all of those innings Ibanez was in LF.

  4. pisano - Nov 2, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    I like bringing Kuroda back, one of the few NL pitchers that did well in the AL. Swisher on the other hand, I won’t lose any sleep over his departure. I think the Yankees can find a much cheaper replacement, without giving one of those ridiculous multi-year big money contract.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 2, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      Who do you see out there that’s going to put up a .267/.367/.483/.850 (124OPS+) line like Swisher has over the last 4 years, for cheap? Looking at Matthew’s List:

      Upton – did it once, in ’07
      Pagan – never
      Bourn – never
      Ross – did it once, in ’07 in 66 games
      Victorino – once, in ’11
      Hunter – twice in his career, but he’ll be 37

      I know lots of fans hate Swisher because of his no-shows in the playoffs, but I think many forget how really good he was during the regular season.

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