Hiroki Kuroda to return to Japan
Hiroki Kuroda is returning to Japan to pitch for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, an official with knowledge of the move told ESPNNewYork.com, confirming Japanese media reports.
The free-agent right-hander reunites with his first professional team, reportedly on a one-year contract worth $3.3 million.
Kuroda pitched for Hiroshima from 1997 to 2007 before signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to the 2008 season. He spent four years with the Dodgers before moving to the New York Yankees.
Kuroda, who will turn 40 in February, went 11-9 with a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts last season, his third with the Yankees.
The Japanese broadcaster NHK and other reports said Saturday that Kuroda will wear No. 15, the same number he wore when he last pitched for the Carp. Hiroshima kept the number open for him during his time in the major leagues, where he wore 18.
Kuroda was perhaps the most durable starter in the Yankees rotation the past three seasons. He worked 199 innings in 2014 after exceeding 200 in his first two seasons with New York and the final season with the Dodgers.