NEW YORK – The New York Yankees made a major push to bolster their starting rotation Friday night, agreeing to terms with right-hander Hiroki Kuroda on a $10 million, one-year contract shortly after acquiring young righty Michael Pineda from the Seattle Mariners.
A person familiar with Kuroda's signing told The Associated Press the deal is contingent on the 36-year-old former Los Angeles Dodgers starter passing a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there has not yet been an announcement. Kuroda's deal also includes performance bonuses, according to the person.
Kuroda was 13-16 with a 3.07 ERA for the Dodgers this year and 41-46 with a 3.45 ERA in four seasons in Los Angeles after a long career in Japan.
Right after being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, general manager Brian Cashman said his priority for the Yankees this offseason was pitching. But he balked at bidding on the top free agents in what was considered a weak year for starters.
Until Friday, their biggest moves were retaining CC Sabathia before he could opt out of his contract and bringing back Freddy Garcia after a solid 2011.
Along with Pineda, fifth in this year's AL Rookie of the Year voting, the Yankees now have seven starters heading into spring training with A.J. Burnett, Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes also returning.
Nova finished a spot ahead of Pineda in rookie voting and is in line to fill a spot. Hughes might be forced to the bullpen after struggling with injuries and velocity last year.
New York sent power-hitting catcher Jesus Montero, the organization's top prospect, to Seattle for the hard-throwing Pineda, according to a person familiar with the deal.
The 22-year-old Pineda was 6-2 on May 21 with a 2.16 ERA and finished 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA. In 171 innings he gave up just 133 hits and struck out 173.