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Hiroki Kuroda signing: Give thanks for a key move, Yankees' fans

The Yankees' signing of Hiroki Kuroda was a key move as the team prepares for the 2013 season.

Hiroki Kuroda
Hiroki Kuroda

The New York Yankees' signing of veteran starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda on Tuesday was a move the team badly needed to make. Kuroda was at times the Yankees' best starting pitcher a season ago when he went 16-11 and worked a career-high 219 innings.

His return stabilizes a rotation that is still waiting on a decision from Andy Pettitte as to whether or not he will return in 2013. It also stabilizes a fan base, for now, that is jittery after watching another playoff implosion, seeing the Toronto Blue Jays perform a stunning overhaul of their roster, and hearing all sort of talk about how getting under a $189 million budget by 2014 -- not necessarily winning -- is the organization's priority.

Here is some of the reaction to the move from around the Inter-Google: > Jack Curry > Blog > Sweet relief for Yankees with Kuroda's return
As the Yankees navigate through what should be a busy offseason, the signing of Kuroda is the first step toward a productive offseason. If Andy Pettitte decides to return next season, which appears likely, the Yankees would add him to their rotation as well. CC Sabathia, Kuroda and Pettitte would be a reliable threesome at the top of the rotation, provided the veteran pitchers can dodge injuries. Sabathia and Kuroda were in the top 10 in the league in ERA while Pettitte, who didn’t pitch enough innings to qualify to be among the leaders, had a better ERA than both of them at 2.87.

By signing Kuroda, the Yankees made one of their most crucial moves of the offseason before we have reached Thanksgiving. Kuroda is a dependable pitcher, a pitcher who is worth the investment. Because the free-agent market has been very aggressive, Cashman said he suspected that Kuroda "left money on the table" by returning to the Yankees.

"I feel fortunate that we were able to acquire him last year," Cashman said. "I feel the same way this year."

Cashman feels relieved, as he should.

Sweeny: Breaking Down Kuroda, The Yankees’ Rotation And Potential Outfield Help " CBS New York
Eat without worry, my friends. Kuroda is indeed coming back to the Yankees in 2013. Here is what general manager Brian Cashman had to say about the Japanese right-hander, who, surprisingly, was the Yankees’ best and most consistent starter in 2012:

"Hiroki did a phenomenal job for us last year and we had a strong preference of retaining him. I suspect it was a very aggressive market for him, it should have been. We feel fortunate that we were able to acquire him last year, and I feel the same way this year. He can play a really important role here as he did last year. He’s a pro. He did everything on the field, and had a seamless transition to New York and our clubhouse off the field."

Cashman said that the Yankees feel as if they have a competitive rotation right now, but they’re always looking to add to it.

"The pitching is our priority and has been our priority, so we will continue on those efforts," Cashman said. "But right now on paper we do have five starters. You’ve got CC (Sabathia), Kuroda, (Phil) Hughes, (Ivan) Nova, (David) Phelps. But we certainly would like to add to that, lengthen it, deepen it and strengthen it."

IT IS HIGH! IT IS FAR! IT IS... caught.: Kuroda is coming back, but the elephant in the room still waits on the West Coast
IF... Andy returns... Nova recovers... Mariano comes back... Hughes evolves... Joba doesn't get hurt... CC has another year... and we can find one more piece from the recycling bin.... We could have a decent staff.

And now the Yankees wait for Andy Pettitte | HardballTalk
With Hiroki Kuroda in the fold, the Yankees rotation looks like this: CC Sabathia, Kuroda, Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova and David Phelps. That'll play, but they really want one more guy. And that guy is presumably mulling it over with his turkey and gravy: The Andy Pettitte waiting game continues.