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Red Sox Out On Hiroki Kuroda?

The former Yankees right-hander might be headed back west


The Red Sox are interested in Hiroki Kuroda yet again, but for the third time now, Kuroda might not be nearly as interested. Mark Saxon, ESPN Los Angeles:

Previously, teams have been under the impression that Kuroda would either re-sign with the New York Yankees or return to his native Japan to finish his career. But Kuroda has told friends that his first preference is to pitch in Southern California, where his two daughters are attending elementary school...

...Largely due to financial constraints while they were in bankruptcy, the Dodgers did not make Kuroda a formal offer when he was a free agent last winter -- though he was coming off a season with a 3.07 ERA and more than 200 innings pitched. He went to New York and went 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA.

Kuroda is also reportedly is looking for a one-year deal, as he's currently heading into his age-38 season, and still hopes to finish his career back in Japan. This works to the benefit of the Dodgers, who are currently waiting to know if Chad Billingsley needs to undergo Tommy John surgery or not. If no, Kuroda is a better fit for the rotation than some of their other options (such as Aaron Harang). If yes, as Saxon points out, then Billingsley would be back in time to replace Kuroda in the rotation the season after next.

It's not just the Dodgers who could get Kuroda, though, as the Los Angeles Angels are also intrigued. After trading Ervin Santana, declining Dan Haren's option, and facing the possibility of Zack Greinke pitching elsewhere, the Halos need help in their rotation behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson. Kuroda is more than capable, and would also likely do very well in the pitcher-friendly Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

There are two bits of good news in this for Boston. Well, not the best news -- that would be signing Kuroda -- but still working in their favor. For one, by not signing Kuroda, they get to keep their second-round pick, or at least give it up in as compensation for a different player. Maybe more importantly, though, is that the Yankees also don't get Kuroda back if he heads back west.