Hiroki Kuroda Rumors
The latest on the Dodgers, who are in the midst of their first offseason under new ownership...
- The Dodgers are out on Torii Hunter, according to Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles. The Braves, Rangers and Tigers all still have interest in Hunter, who appears to prefer an AL team.
- GM Ned Colletti told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Dodgers are prioritizing the international market again under the team’s new ownership. “One area we really needed to accent immediately was international operations,” Colletti said. “We couldn’t wait another year to get involved there.” The Dodgers recently won the negotiating rights to Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu with a bid of $25.7MM.
- The Dodgers announced that they signed six international scouts, including Patrick Guerrero. The team also announced that they hired former MLB catcher Josh Bard as a special assistant.
- Ken Davidoff of the New York Post wonders which top free agent will sign next. Zack Greinke and Hiroki Kuroda seem like candidates to sign in the relatively near future, according to Davidoff, who believes that the Dodgers will bring Kuroda back to Los Angeles.
The 4pm CST deadline for players to accept qualifying offers has come and gone and none of the eight players in play opted to return to their respective clubs for a $13.3MM salary in 2013. That means that Nick Swisher, Hiroki Kuroda, Rafael Soriano, B.J. Upton, Adam LaRoche, Michael Bourn, Josh Hamilton, and Kyle Lohse will net their teams a compensatory pick if they sign elsewhere. Here's the latest from around baseball..
- The Giants are confident that they will be re-signing Jeremy Affeldt and the club believes that they will work out a three-year deal, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today. GM Brian Sabean indicated yesterday that he is optimistic about being about to keep Affeldt, Angel Pagan, and Marco Scutaro.
- Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (via Twitter) that he has not approached Corey Hart's agent about an extension and doesn't have immediate plans to do so. A report earlier today suggested that the Brewers and Hart were discussing a deal to keep him beyond 2013. The first baseman/right fielder is set to earn $10MM next season.
- The Tigers aren't interested in Soriano and plan to stay in-house to find their closer, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Right-hander Bruce Rondon, 21, will get a chance at the job.
The latest from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com..
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman doesn't expect Hiroki Kuroda or Nick Swisher to accept their qualifying offers, Heyman tweets. We learned last night that Rafael Soriano will reject his as well, but the sides are still talking (Twitter link).
- Even though the Giants have been getting calls on Brandon Belt, they won't be trading him, according to Heyman (via Twitter). The club's current goals are to goals are to re-sign Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro while fortifying their bullpen. That includes retaining Jeremy Affeldt, if they can.
- The Red Sox don't see Zack Greinke as a fit for Boston but they are still thinking a bit about Josh Hamilton, Heyman tweets. It remains unlikely that the Red Sox will go for the free agent slugger, however. Earlier today, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wrote that the Phillies could be one surprise suitor for Hamilton.
- The Mariners have reached out to catchers Russell Martin and Mike Napoli, tweets Heyman. Heyman adds that General Manager Jack Zduriencik is also looking at corner outfield bats. Nick Swisher is one corner bat that the Mariners are considering, Heyman tweets.
- The Giants have been getting lots of calls on Brandon Belt, according to Heyman (via Twitter). Belt comes with solid upside and quality defense and is not yet arbitration-eligible.
- Kuroda isn't limiting his choices to the Yankees or a return to Japan, reports Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. "I never said anything like that," Kuroda explains, adding that he is open to several options and hasn't yet made any decisions. (Both links go to Hernandez's Twitter account.)
- Several teams are interested in Kuroda and some have discussed two-year contracts, reports Dylan Hernandez. The Dodgers are among the teams who have contacted Kuroda's representatives at the Octagon agency. (Both links to Twitter.)
- Kuroda is the Dodgers' "top choice" for the pitching staff, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Dodgers are checking in on most of the top free agent arms this offseason though Kuroda is a known quantity, having pitched for L.A. in his first four years in the majors.
- While Kuroda is open to signing a one-year contract, such a deal would have to "significantly" top the Yankees' one-year, $13.3MM qualifying offer, a source tells Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe (Twitter link).
GM Ben Cherington was overseeing Boston's international scouting department when the team originally signed Sanchez out of Venezuela in 2001. The 28-year-old right-hander pitched to a 3.86 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 2.2 BB in 195 2/3 innings split between the Marlins and Tigers this year. Several other clubs have expressed interest in Sanchez as well, according to Silverman.
After 25 years as a General Manager and president of the Twins, Cubs, and Orioles, Andy MacPhail stepped away from baseball last season to take care of his ailing father. Now, MacPhail tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that he wants to return to baseball in some capacity. The executive was often viewed as a future commissioner and it would make sense for him to get involved with the league office. He also won't rule out working as a GM again, but he has yet do discuss that with any team and most clubs already have their front office leadership in place. Here's more from Cafardo..
- The Twins have already inquired on Rays pitcher James Shields. Tampa Bay will field plenty of other calls on Shields in the coming weeks but whether they pull the trigger to obtain offense remains to be seen. The Dodgers say they're not shopping Andre Ethier, but it may make sense to use him to get Shields if they have their eye on Josh Hamilton. The problem there is that the Rays may not be able to carry Ethier's contract.
- The Angels are shopping Vernon Wells in an effort to clear some of the $42MM still owed to him. The Halos have tried to start talks with the Red Sox and would like to get John Lackey back, but the Sox are curious to see what Lackey looks like after Tommy John surgery.
- There was speculation that the Red Sox were trying to include Alfredo Aceves in a deal for Dan Haren. The Red Sox love Aceves' arm and stuff, but could do without the high maintenance. Aceves is very much available, but they won’t give him away for nothing. The pitcher can fill different roles, but he still prefers to start.
- The Dodgers would love to reunite with free agent Hiroki Kuroda. The hurler could have more suitors than any other pitcher this winter if the Yankees don't tie him up quickly.
- Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is taking a wait-and-see approach on his agents, the Levinson brothers. A few clients have already jumped ship but Pedroia noted that they have been good to him and his family.
- The Red Sox would like to re-sign Vicente Padilla, but he is on the radar of a few teams, including the Angels, who are desperately looking to retool their bullpen. Padilla ran out of gas late in the year but turned in a decent year in total.
The Yankees extended qualifying offers to Rafael Soriano, Nick Swisher and Hiroki Kuroda, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The players now have one week to accept or decline the offers.
Soriano and Swisher are expected to decline the offers, but Kuroda could accept -- he has indicated he’d be content to sign a one-year deal. If he accepts he’d earn $13.3MM on a one-year deal in 2013. If he declines, he’ll be linked to draft pick compensation in free agency -- his new team will have to surrender a top selection to sign him.
The three Yankees figure prominently on MLBTR’s top 50 free agent list. Swisher ranks sixth, Kuroda ranks ninth and Soriano ranks 17th.
Hiroki Kuroda is open to signing a one-year contract, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, which could lead to "a reasonably quick deal" with the Yankees once the club makes its expected qualifying offer to the veteran right-hander on Friday. Kuroda turns 38 in February and wishes to eventually pitch again in Japan, which is why he's amenable to a short-term agreement that would leave his options open for the future.
Kuroda signed a one-year, $10MM deal with the Yankees last offseason and was the most stable member of the New York rotation, posting a 3.32 ERA, a 3.27 K/BB ratio and a career-best 219 2/3 innings, topped by only five pitchers in baseball last year. The qualifying offer would pay Kuroda $13.3MM in 2013, though Knobler notes that he could possibly turn the offer down in hopes of finding a slightly higher offer from the Yankees or another club. The Royals and Padres are two teams rumored to have interest in Kuroda, though he will draw looks from several teams on the open market.
Royals owner David Glass recently said that the team is "committed to improving (their) starting pitching" while also indicating a willingness to operate at a financial loss to be competitive. Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star has the latest on the team...
- “Our market is what it is,” said GM Dayton Moore. “We’re not going to have a payroll of $100MM. We know that going into it. We embrace who we are ... We’ve got to stay consistent with our approach. We’re not going get crazy and go nuts in free agency.”
- There are indications that the Royals have Anibal Sanchez and Kyle Lohse at the top of their free agent target list. Bringing Zack Greinke back for a second tour of duty is unlikely.
- The team's list of secondary pitching targets is believed to include Ryan Dempster, Hiroki Kuroda, Shaun Marcum, Carlos Villanueva, and Carlos Zambrano. They will also monitor pitchers who could have club options declined, like Dan Haren and Ervin Santana.
- “Absolutely ... I think any pitcher would be fortunate to pitch here," said right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, an impending free agent the team would like to retain. They are unwilling to go beyond a two-year deal, however.
- Moore acknowledged that there is a chance of working out a new contract with Guthrie during the exclusive negotiating window prior to free agency.
- “I wouldn’t say anybody is untouchable,” said Moore with regards to potential trade talks. “You go into any discussion with an open mind. That being said, there are certain positions on the diamond that are very difficult to replace ... You don’t want to compromise in one area just to get strong in another area.”
- Dutton estimates that the Royals could have $20-23MM to spend this winter while keeping the current roster intact.
Before the regular season began, I suggested the Orioles were likely headed for a 60-75 win season and added that there’s “not much to dream on” in Baltimore. My mistake. With two weeks to go in the regular season, the Orioles are tied for first place in the AL East and they’re likely headed for the postseason. Here’s the latest from the division, starting with one of the game’s top pitching prospects...
- The Orioles are promoting top prospect Dylan Bundy to the Major Leagues following their 18-inning win over the Mariners, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Orioles hadn’t intended to call Bundy up, but they need pitching and he’s viewed as someone who can help them win.
- The extended absences of Michael Pineda and Manny Banuelos have been damaging for the Yankees in the short term and in the long term, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. The young pitchers were expected to provide the Yankees with quality innings and help the team avoid the luxury tax threshold by 2014. Instead, they’ve been injured so the Yankees will feel pressure to re-sign Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda this coming offseason, Sherman reports.
- The Yankees still have some hope that David Aardsma could pitch this year, Sherman adds. They signed the reliever with 2013 in mind, knowing that most of this year would be spent recovering from Tommy John surgery.