Hiroki Kuroda loved his first year in New York, and he's amenable to a one-year deal.
So when the Yankees make the $13.3-million qualifying offer Friday, as they surely will, they could be moving close to a deal.
Qualifying offers generally will be made to protect the draft choice. But this is a rare case where it could lead to a reasonably quick deal, even if he doesn;t take that exact number.
Kuroda, who made $10 million this season in the Bronx, is said to be willing to do a one-year deal because he wants to eventually return to Japan and have something left when he does it. The Yankees love the idea of anyone good on a one-year deal now. Their goal is to get below the $189-million luxury-tax threshold in 2014 so they can reduce their luxury tax payments by tens of millions of dollars.
Word is Kuroda enjoyed his first year with the Yankees, and he went 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA. The qualifying offer represents a nice raise, but the Yankees surely hope he takes it.
Considering the year he had -- not to mention the Yankees' need -- it's possible he might be able to negotiate even a bit more than that.