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Yankees remain hopeful on Kuroda, but competition comes on several fronts

CHICAGO -- The Yankees continue to negotiate with free-agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda in hopes of beating several other suitors -- the Dodgers, Red Sox and now the Angels -- plus another country.

Kuroda has promised to return to pitch in Japan to end his career, and wants to have something left for his final season.

The Yankees remain hopeful they can sign him on a one-year deal before he possibly returns back to his homeland to pitch. The Angels, who have a rotation deficit after the trade of Ervin Santana, loss of Dan Haren and free agency of Zack Greinke (they are hoping to re-sign him), are the latest team to show interest in Kuroda.

The Angels are said to like Kuroda a lot because of his familiarity with the L.A. area and his success this season in the American League.

Kuroda turned down the Yankees' $13.3 million qualifying offer, so figure his new offers will be higher than that.

The Dodgers, with new rich ownership, want him back. The Red Sox are probably long shots since Kuroda has loved both L.A. (he only left because Frank McCourt couldn't afford him) and New York.

The Yankees seem to have prioritized Kuroda. Beyond his terrific performance in 2012, his willingness to do a one-year deal fits their goal to get under the $189 million luxury-tax threshhold by 2014. They have no such constraint for 2013.

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