- Associated Press - Monday, November 15, 2010

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles Dodgers re-signed free agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year deal worth $12 million.

The deal was announced Monday after he took a physical in Los Angeles.

Kuroda had been considering a return to his native Japan, where he once starred for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. But the 35-year-old right-hander decided to remain in the U.S., where he lives in the offseason with his wife and two children, for a fourth season in the major leagues.

He had an 11-13 record with a 3.39 ERA in 196 1-3 innings and was healthy the entire season after injuries disrupted his first two years with the Dodgers. He had career highs in victories, innings pitched, ERA and strikeouts (159) last season.

Kuroda’s career 3.60 ERA is the lowest among all Japanese starting pitchers in major league history.

He was coming off a $35.3 million, three-year deal that paid $13 million last season. He was the opening day starter in 2009.

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti says Kuroda only wanted a one-year deal, although the team was interested in an option for another year. Colletti says the team has “financial flexibility” this winter and Kuroda’s signing doesn’t preclude the Dodgers from further improving their pitching and position players.

Kuroda’s return gives the Dodgers four established starting pitchers, along with Ted Lilly, who re-signed last month for $33 million over three years, Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw. The other member of the rotation, Vicente Padilla, is a free agent.

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