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Posted by: Jack Curry on Nov 20, 2012 at 10:36:19 PM

A relief. That was how general manager Brian Cashman described the signing of Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year, $15 million contract with the Yankees yesterday. It was the perfect description. Kuroda was a smooth, confident and low-maintenance pitcher last season. He was also the Yankees’ best pitcher so it was definitely a relief for them to know that he will return in 2013.

The relationship between Kuroda and the Yankees is an appropriate one. The Yankees strongly prefer to sign any starting pitchers to one-year deals because they are insistent on keeping their payroll under $189 million for 2014. Kuroda prefers to sign one-year deals because, eventually, he wants to return to Japan and finish his career in his native country. So, in pursuit of these goals, the pitcher and the team

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