Free-agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda is returning to Japan and has signed with the Hiroshima Carp, according to a report from Jim Allen of Kyodo News and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The signing likely ends Kuroda's major-league career, as it was thought that he would either sign with the Yankees or Dodgers, sign with a team in Japan, or retire.
Kuroda, who turns 40 in February, pitched for Hiroshima from 1997 to 2007, establishing himself as one of the best pitchers in Japan before signing a three-year deal with the Dodgers before the 2008 season. He spent seven years in the majors with the Dodgers (2008-2011) and Yankees (2012-2014), posting a career 79-79 record and 3.45 ERA while being regarded as one of the most consistent and durable pitchers in all of baseball.
With Kuroda out of the picture, the Yankees' rotation will look a bit different next season. In addition to veterans CC Sabathia and Chris Capuano, the Bombers will welcome Nathan Eovaldi to a group that includes young arms like Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and Adam Warren while Ivan Nova rehabs from Tommy John surgery.