Yankees agree to one-year, $15M deal with Hiroki Kuroda

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From ESPN’s Buster Olney comes word that the Yankees have agreed to a one-year, $15 million contract with right-handed starter Hiroki Kuroda.

The deal also includes some performance-based incentives, but they’re worth less than $1 million.

Kuroda was courted this offseason by the Dodgers and Angels, and was said to be considering simply heading back to his native Japan, but the Yankees were able to lure him in for another season with a pact worth slightly more than the $13.3 million qualifying offer that the 37-year-old turned down 10 days ago.

Kuroda posted a 3.32 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 33 starts this past summer for New York, fanning 167 batters while issuing only 51 walks in 219 2/3 innings. There’s no reason to expect a major drop-off in 2013.

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

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The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.

With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.

Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.