It’s tough to decide who the best available free agent starter is now that Curt Schilling is off the market. One could make a legitimate case it’s Hiroki Kuroda, who could dazzle in his first few months in MLB.
While Kuroda prefers to play on the West Coast, he’s on the Phillies’ radar. Paul Hagen notes that Pat Gillick previously ventured into the Japanese market to snag Ichiro several years back. Kuroda has filed for free agency. So far the Mariners, Rangers, and Cubs have shown interest. He could earn north of $8MM per season over three or four years. According to Tony Jackson, the Dodgers are also expected to make a bid. Expect this list to grow.
Hagen’s article names former Phils Jon Lieber, Randy Wolf, and Kyle Lohse as other possibilities for Gillick. A trade for Jon Garland remains an option as well. Also, Adam Eaton recently had an MRI. If he needs some kind of surgery, the Phils could import two starters.
In other Phillies news, Gold Glover Aaron Rowand is still partial to the Phillies and hopes to come back. Don’t count on it. He also indicated that his other former team, the White Sox, have an advantage.