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Hiroki Kuroda will return to Yankees for one year, $16 million, per source

Yankees starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda delivers to Tampa

Yankees starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda delivers to Tampa Bay Rays' Ben Zobrist during the first inning of a baseball game. (Aug. 23, 2013) Credit: AP

Hiroki Kuroda has agreed to return to the Yankees for another season, Hal Steinbrenner confirmed Friday night.

"Kuroda is coming back,'' Steinbrenner told The Associated Press in Tampa, Fla.

The reunion with Kuroda had been expected for days. General manager Brian Cashman said he spoke with the righthander's agent "maybe four times'' Thursday.

Kuroda, who will turn 39 on Feb. 10, agreed to a one-year, $16-million contract that includes incentives, according to a person familiar with the situation. Once he completes a physical, he will rejoin CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova, with the final two spots up for grabs for now.

Kuroda went 11-13 with a 3.31 ERA in 2013. He was one of the top pitchers in the American League before going 0-6 with a 6.56 ERA in his final eight starts. Fatigue was considered a factor.

Kuroda said in the season's final days that he wasn't sure if he wanted to pitch in 2014 or retire. He also left open the possibility of pitching in his native Japan. But he decided to come back to the Yankees for a $1-million raise.

The Yankees still hope to have a shot at Masahiro Tanaka. Major League Baseball and the Japanese major league are putting the finishing touches on a new posting agreement; until that is made official, interested clubs will have to wait.

Under the latest proposal, teams would be able to bid a maximum of $20 million for the rights to a player. If there are multiple maximum bids, the player can negotiate with those teams.

The Yankees have more money to spend now that Robinson Cano has joined the Mariners. They could use that extra cash to bid on Tanaka -- if he becomes available.

The president of Tanaka's team, the Rakuten Eagles, said Thursday that the club might not post him under the proposed new agreement, figuring he's worth more than $20 million to them.

The Yankees also announced the signing of infielder/outfielder Kelly Johnson to a one-year deal believed to be worth $3 million.

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