The Yankees can breathe a little easier going into Thanksgiving knowing that they have come to terms with right-hander Hiroki Kuroda on a one-year contract. It was general manager Brian Cashman's first order of business in what will be a busy off-season. "We'd like to get things done as quickly as we can, but it's not always that easy," said Cashman. "But we are excited to have reached a new deal with Hiroki. We will continue to try to improve our team in all areas, but this is an important piece of our rotation." Kuroda, who will turn 38 in February, went 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA (219? innings, 81 earned runs) in 33 starts last season, reaching career bests in wins, starts, innings pitched and strikeouts (167). Among American League pitchers, he ranked fourth in innings pitched, tied for sixth in wins and finished eighth in ERA. After beginning the season with a 3-6 record and 4.56 ERA (53? innings, 27 earned runs) in his first nine starts, he went 13-5 with a 2.92 ERA (166? innings, 54 earned runs) over his final 24 starts, beginning on May 27.