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Yankees 'very confident' about signing Hiroki Kuroda

According to Jayson Stark, the Yankees moved one step closer to resigning Hiroki Kuroda.

Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

Via Jayson Stark of ESPN, it appears as though the Yankees are closing in on Hiroki Kuroda.

If free-agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda pitches in the United States next season, it apparently will be for the New York Yankees.

The article says that the other teams that were chasing Kuroda, the Dodgers and Angels, have moved their focuses elsewhere. It does not rule out a return to Japan just yet for Kuroda, saying that he wants to finish his career there. One reason he strongly considered Southern California is that both his daughters attend school there.

Kuroda started 33 games for the Yankees, throwing 219.2 innings. He pitched to an ERA of 3.32, striking out 167 batters and walking just 51.

The 37 year-old signed a one-year 10 million dollar deal with the Yankees before the 2012 season, after pitching for the Dodgers for four seasons before that. In Japan, Kuroda pitched for Hiroshima for 10 years until coming stateside in time for the 2008 season.