Yankees free agent rumors: Brian Cashman worried Hiroki Kuroda will leave for Japan

Mike Stobe

Kuroda does not necessarily plan to finish his career in Japan, but is reportedly considering the option.

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is worried that free agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda will head back to Japan during the offseason, reports Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger.

Kuroda has thrown 421 innings the past two seasons for New York, posting a 3.32 ERA. He has also consistently taken the ball every fifth day, starting 33 games in 2012 and 32 games in 2013.

The veteran has signed one-year contracts with the Yankees each of the past two offseasons, considering a return to Japan before ultimately deciding to pitch in New York. Kuroda, however, told Mark Hale of the New York Post earlier in the year that it is a "misconception" that he ultimately plans to end his career in Japan.

The Yankees are expected to offer Kuroda a $14.1 million qualifying offer, which would represent a slight pay cut from his $15 million salary in '13. The two sides could renegotiate the deal if the pitcher accepts the offer.

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