Hiroki Kuroda will pitch another season for NPB’s Hiroshima Toyo Carp, according to a report from the Sanspo news outlet (hat tip to NPBTracker’s Patrick Newman for the translation). Kuroda spent the first 11 years of his pro career with the Carp and, last winter, decided to cap off his career by leaving Major League Baseball to return to his old club. The 40-year-old seemingly picked up right where he left off, posting a 2.55 ERA, 3.66 K/BB rate and 5.6 K/9 over 169 2/3 innings for the Carp in 2015. Here are some more starting pitching items from around baseball…
- The Cardinals and Diamondbacks are both still interested in Mike Leake, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link). Reports from yesterday indicated that both clubs were somewhat wary of Leake’s asking price.
- The Indians aren’t actively shopping any of their top starting pitchers and they’d prefer to obtain hitting help without subtracting from the rotation, president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti told reporters (including MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian). The Tribe is receiving plenty of offers and Antonetti is open to considering anything that would help the roster. That being said, Antonetti also noted that “our rotation’s been a strength of the team. So, we would be very judicious in considering trading away any one of those guys. It’s certainly not our intent. It’s not our motivation. We’re not looking to do it.”
- Cliff Lee is looking for a one-year Major League contract and his main goal is to sign with a winning team, according to Heyman (via Twitter). Lee’s upside is strong enough that Heyman predicts Lee “probably gets more than you’d think” in his next salary, despite his missing all of 2015.
- The White Sox don’t seem likely to trade any of their top starters, CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes tweets. If the Sox do deal an arm, it will probably be a minor leaguer or a reliever.