The Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan had some information regarding Japanese starter Hiroki Kuroda in his column yesterday. Apparently the Cubs and Mariners are leading the pack for his services, should he choose to opt out of his contract. According to Sullivan, Kuroda signed a four-year, $10.4MM deal with the Hiroshima Carps last winter. He would have no problems getting three years, $12MM over here.
Kuroda, a 32 year-old righty, won the Central League ERA title in ’06 with a 1.85 mark. That ballooned to 3.56 this year as the command master saw his home run and hit rates rise. Kuroda could be very successful in the NL Central. If my guess on his price tag is correct, he could be one of few free agent bargains this winter.