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Yankees rumors: New York focused on Mariano Rivera, Hiroki Kuroda

While the New York Yankees viewed free agent Torii Hunter as a “good fit” before he signed with the Detroit Tigers, the club’s focus remains on Hiroki Kuroda and Mariano Rivera.

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

While the New York Yankees viewed free agent Torii Hunter as a "good fit" before he signed with the Detroit Tigers, the club’s focus remains on Hiroki Kuroda and Mariano Rivera, reports Erik Boland of Newsday:

The Yankees entered the offseason with a need for at least one outfielder. Right fielder Nick Swisher hit the free agent market and given his hefty asking price, he reportedly seeks a Jayson Werth-like deal, it doesn’t look like he’ll rejoin New York.

Beyond Swisher, outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who played an important role with the club after being acquired from the Seattle Mariners over the summer, also reached free agency.

Despite their vacancy in the outfield, the Yankees remain focused on pitching.

Kuroda played an important role as a consistently productive starting pitcher after signing with the club last winter. After 33 appearances spanning 219 2/3 innings the right-hander maintained an ERA of 3.32.

New York’s bullpen held together last season despite losing Rivera to injury for the year, largely thanks to fill in closer Rafael Soriano. However, Soriano opted out of his contract and it’s not clear if he’ll return to New York, making it that much more pivotal that the Yankees convince Rivera to return for another season.