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Yankee free agent Hiroki Kuroda to return to Japan, pitch for Hiroshima Carps

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TOKYO — Japanese media report free-agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda will return to Japan in 2015 to pitch for his first team, the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.

The reports say Kuroda, who turns 40 in February, has signed a one year contract worth $3.3 million. Kuroda pitched for Hiroshima from 1997-2007 and then spent four years with the Los Angeles Dodgers before moving to the New York Yankees.

The Japanese broadcaster NHK and other reports said Saturday that Kuroda will wear No. 15, the same number he wore when he last pitched for the Carp. Hiroshima kept the number open for him during his time in the major leagues, where he wore 18.

Last season, Kuroda was 11-9 with a 3.71 ERA. He was 79-79 with a 3.45 ERA in 1,319 career major league innings. He struck out 986 and walked only 292.

Kuroda was perhaps the most durable starter in the Yankees' rotation the past three seasons. He worked 199 innings this year after exceeding 200 in his first two with New York and the final season with the Dodgers.

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