While talks are in the preliminary stages, the Mariners may send GM Bill Bavasi to Tokyo to negotiate with free agent Hiroki Kuroda. He is apparently the team's top priority, and the Mariners have advantages in geography, their home park, and their current Japanese personnel.
Word from Larry LaRue is that Kuroda is after a three or four year contract at $11MM annually. I think he can get it, as the list of suitors is long and growing. LaRue names the Rangers, Dodgers, Cubs, and Phillies as other serious contenders. We also know the Tigers, Royals, and Mets are in on him. That's eight teams publicly known to have interest.
Still not buying the reports of Kuroda having a 96mph heater. I will bet you an order of Arby's Loaded Potato Bites that he tops out at 93.
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