Hale: Kuroda is still undecided about plans for 2014By
Via Mark Hale: Impending free agent Hiroki Kuroda is still undecided about his future beyond this season. “At this stage, I can’t imagine what I’m going to do until the season ends … Obviously it builds your confidence to have numbers like these, but at the same time, I have to finish the season and make sure I’m healthy enough to even think about making that decision,” said the right-hander.
Kuroda, 38, has been a legitimate ace this season, ranking second in the AL in ERA (2.33), first in ERA+ (172), eighth in FIP (3.25), seventh in fWAR (3.6), and third in bWAR (5.0). He’s signed one-year contracts in each of the last two winters citing the desire to have freedom to make a decision about his future after each season, though he refuted reports indicating he wanted to end his career back in Japan. “That has never been the case with what I’ve been thinking, but who knows?” he said.
Re-signing Kuroda will be a top priority for the Yankees this offseason, but given the club’s tiny playoff chances and even worse 2014 outlook, I think he will entertain offers from other teams with a better chance at immediate contention. He made it very clear he came (and returned) to New York because he wants to win. “My approach,” Kuroda added, “has always been if I get an offer from any team, no matter where they’re from, I will take that as seriously as possible and make a decision out of it.”