Kuroda to Dodgers? Who knows

Dave · December 12, 2007 at 7:14 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Conficting reports this morning on the status of Horoki Kuroda – the Kyodo News says he’s going to sign with the Dodgers, while Geoff Baker says not so fast – we’ll find out shortly either way.

I’ve been ambivalent about Kuroda since the start, and honestly, I’ll feel the same way about this news. Kuroda isn’t particularly impressive to me, but this is a pretty unimpressive crop of available pitchers this winter. If losing out on Kuroda means that we throw $50 million at Kyle Lohse, than this is terrible news. If it means we throw $10 million at Bartolo Colon, then it’s awesome. But we don’t know which way the organization is going to go if they really do lose out on Kuroda, so I find it hard to have an opinion about him potentially going to LA one way or another.


36 Responses to “Kuroda to Dodgers? Who knows”

  1. Mr. Awesome on December 12th, 2007 8:32 am

    If this is true, and the M’s still have two gaping holes in the rotation, why not go hard after Prior and Colon, hoping they have something left in the tank? If they both flop, then you can deal for some extra arms during the season.

    With the way the AL is set up right now, the M’s aren’t a contender. But for the first time in years, this team actually has prospects. Why deal them now for an ace pitcher when you can add more guys, develop the ones you have, and make the big deals later on when the team is actually within striking distance of contention?

    Once they get their farm system in order, the M’s have the financial firepower to be a constant contender. No need to scrape the barrel clean for a phantom run at the post-season.

  2. msb on December 12th, 2007 9:02 am

    from the wording, it looks the Kyodo News is quoting the same sanspo.com report that Geoff addresses..

  3. Deanna on December 12th, 2007 9:02 am

    I dunno. I just watched sports news on a few channels as I usually do at this time of night (it’s 1am here in Japan now, even though I guess that makes it 8am in Seattle), and the latest thing they had to say on Kuroda was “He’s flying to America to make up his mind between the Dodgers and Mariners.”

    On News Zero, they were pointing out that Kosuke Fukudome is likely to make almost as much money as the entire payroll of a few Japanese teams next year. Scary.

  4. smb on December 12th, 2007 9:32 am

    I read Fukudome to the Cubs.

  5. bakomariner on December 12th, 2007 9:55 am

    this could be terrible…if he signs with LA, you know that bavasi will freak out and give a ton of money and years to another washburn…most articles i have read say he will be a good #3 or #4…with the pitching market what it is, i think he is the most important signing…if we don’t get him, it could create an avalanche of terrible moves that will cost the Ms money, contract length and probably prospects…this could be a disaster…

  6. Tom on December 12th, 2007 9:57 am

    We are just gonna run out the same team next year only with Kyle Loshe in our starting rotation, aren’t we?

    What a joke.

  7. Carson on December 12th, 2007 10:07 am

    Score another one for Colletti over DePodesta if so.

    $50m to Lohse?

    I’m curious about something Dave. You’ve said numerous times that Bavasi has done a good job of rebuilding the farm system. Yet, his crew makes such blundering major league moves. So, have they been lucky in their minor league evaluations, or are you being generous in saying they’ve done well? Obviously, at least at the major league level, they have proven their inability to evaluate talent efficiently.

  8. bakomariner on December 12th, 2007 10:09 am

    Dave- do you think that if Seattle DOES sign Kuroda that they wouldn’t be signing anyone else? I would hope that even with his signing, they’d be looking outside the org. for their fifth starter…being Colon, Jackson, or someone else…your thoughts?

    also Dave, today is the deadline for Parrish, Ramirez, Broussard, and George…we know George is coming back and Parrish is not, but what do you think about the team bringing back Broussard (trade-bait?) and Ramirez (god. please. no.)?

  9. Canseco gave me an injection on December 12th, 2007 10:13 am

    Long time stalker, first time offender. I’m in Tokyo, sitting around doing work, and trying to stay awake until the trains start running–so I can go home. The “big” Japanese news sources (jiji, mainichi, fuji, etc.) are all now reporting Kuroda to the Dodgers. It’s the same original piece of news; but this means that it’s no longer ssomething some guy made up at one of the sport dailies to sell some papers to drunk salarymen on their way home from a hard day at the kaisha. Goodbye Kuroda-san.

  10. ArtfulDodger on December 12th, 2007 10:22 am

    As my login name indicates i am a dodger fan who has found himself living in an AL region. Fortunately i can root whole heartedly for both teams, unfortunately i’ve never had the pleasure of having to decide which one to pull for in post league play. I’d love to have to make that decision this year. So, i’m in a bit of a win win with kurdoa. Yet, i certainly find myself pulling for the M’s to get him. He sounds like a solid enough pitcher and with the news that even if the M’s sign him, they’re still going after bedard/santana, then i’m even more excited.

    All along it seemed a cinch for the M’s to land him. With the ballpark fitting his style, ichiro and most importantly no language barrier with johjima it seems like a great fit. Not sure what the dodgers offer of this (torre, better chance at post season?) interesting stuff.

  11. Sports on a Schtick on December 12th, 2007 10:29 am

    LA’s a better market for him and the Dodgers have another Japanese hurler (Saito) in the bullpen. Plus Kuroda will put up better numbers in the NL.

  12. Sec 108 on December 12th, 2007 10:30 am

    I am possibly a fool for believing this, but I really do not see us going for Lohse. I think I can at least give Bavasi the credit for seeing how bad the FA pitching pool is this year. Why else would he have been working so hard to lay the groundwork for possible trades? Someone will waste $$ on Lohse, but I just have a gut feeling that the market will dictate a lot less money and years than Lohse seems to think he will be getting.

  13. Bearman on December 12th, 2007 10:30 am

    [deleted, rosterbation – please learn from your past mistakes]

  14. hansk on December 12th, 2007 10:41 am

    I don’t think this is the worst news actually. This will force Bavasi to more heavily pursue Bedard (or Santana, but more likely the former). Also, we’d have the money to do it. I wasn’t too excited about spending $12 mil on a guy who’s never pitched in the majors, and isn’t supposed to be as good as Matsuzaka.

    Then we can fill the other roster spot with: Morrow (I’m ok with that), Edwin Jackson (he’d be cheap enough that we could still afford him financially), or my personal favorite: trade the Cubs for Prior. High risk/high reward.

  15. joser on December 12th, 2007 10:42 am

    Why deal them now for an ace pitcher when you can add more guys, develop the ones you have, and make the big deals later on when the team is actually within striking distance of contention?

    Because Bavasi is on a year-to-year contract, he was (publicly and officially) “on the hot seat” last year and is again this year (even if it’s not public and official), and because ownership has gone on the record to nix the idea of “rebuilding.”

    Have you noticed however every top tier FA the M’s pursue since the hiring of Bavasi as GM especially over the last 3 seasons have used the Seattle offer to squeeze the team they really sign with.

    Have you noticed how every top tier FA does this? Doesn’t matter who is bidding, and who he ultimately signs with, that’s just standard smart business practice. Or have you missed the Yankees-BoSox Santana triangle? It didn’t start when Bavasi was hired and it will continue after he’s gone. It’s been going on with every player and every team since the advent of free agency. There are plenty of things to rip Bavasi about, but that’s not one of them.

  16. bakomariner on December 12th, 2007 10:48 am

    i mostly fear that if we lose out on Kuroda, it will be the final factor in Bavasi trading Jones, Morrow, Clement, etc. for a proven “ace.”

    i’m all for trading for bedard, but not at the cost of jones…which would have to be the case…

    this is not good…

  17. rea on December 12th, 2007 10:54 am

    With the way the AL is set up right now, the M’s aren’t a contender. But for the first time in years, this team actually has prospects. Why deal them now for an ace pitcher when you can add more guys, develop the ones you have, and make the big deals later on when the team is actually within striking distance of contention?

    This sounds strange to a Tiger fan, considering that the Tigers and Mariners had the same record last year, and the Mariners are in the weakest division in the league–yet the Tigers thought themselves close enough to being contenders to trade prospects for major league players, and you think the Mariners aren’t close enough.

    The Angels are a good team, but not without flaws. A bit of an upgrade, coupled with a bit of luck, could land you in the playoffs . . .

  18. bakomariner on December 12th, 2007 11:06 am

    the angels aren’t getting tejada:

    Baltimore Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada finally got his wish for a change of scenery, as he was traded to the Houston Astros on Wednesday.

    In return for the four-time All-Star, the Orioles will get outfielder Luke Scott, pitchers Matt Albers, Troy Patton and Dennis Sarfate, and third baseman Michael Costanzo.

    The blockbuster trade was first reported by The Baltimore Sun.

    ESPN.com’s Keith Law contributed to this report.

  19. Mr. Egaas on December 12th, 2007 11:28 am

    At least we aren’t the Astros!

  20. Logger on December 12th, 2007 11:31 am

    17 – The Tigers have a much better staff than the M’s do. We have Felix, who sometimes lives up to his potential, and a bunch of bums.

  21. NODO Dweller on December 12th, 2007 11:42 am

    It could also be argued that the Tigers were as unlucky/underarchieving as the Mariners were lucky/overachieving last year…

  22. msb on December 12th, 2007 11:53 am

    FWIW, it sounded earlier as though the lure in LA would be the weather….

  23. heyoka on December 12th, 2007 11:54 am

    #17: Despite the Tigers and M’s having the same record, they are very different teams. The Tigers superstars are aging vets (maggs, irod, sheff), and if they intend to make a run at the WS, the time to strike is now.

    The M’s record had a lot to do with luck (based on pythagorean win pct). They can’t pull the same moves with the same success the Tigers are going to have (too many holes). #20 says it with much more brevity….

    The Tigers will probably pay dearly in 2 years or so for the Cabrera move, but it will be worth it for another World Series.

    Maybe you’ve also noticed the philosophy of the authorship (and most of the readership) here, which is to build a dynasty style team (like the Braves of the 90s) – this means keeping a very healthy farm system and making smart cost efficient free agent moves, rather than shooting the moon and trading the farm, or throwing big money at stars in their peak or declining.

    Which is a reason I’m pretty happy about Kuroda going to the Dodgers. Does this guy have bust written all over him or what? He’s what? 32? He would be worth $11 mil/year (maybe more) if those were MLB stats.

    The trouble and panic this does create though, is the question: How are we addressing the rotation? The limited options are starting to come off the table, and this gives the Mariners fewer options in terms of leverage in a trade or FA signing. I’m with almost everyone else here and pulling for taking gambles on Prior and Colon. Bedard is going to cost the farm.

  24. don52656 on December 12th, 2007 12:01 pm

    I echo the fears already posted….that this development will increase the chances of a trade of our best prospects for Bedard. I have no fear that we’ll get Santana.

    I have little confidence that Bavasi can make a trade that will improve the team. If he does, I think it’ll be the first time he’s accomplished that.

    I wonder what the M’s plan would be if Jones were traded? We would pretty much have to sign a free agent to play LF, someone like Geoff Jenkins. Trading Jones/Morrow/? to get Bedard, then adding Jenkins as a free agent, would significantly increase the payroll and still leave our primary deficiency…defense… completely unaddressed, in my opinion. I also don’t think these moves, if they occurred, would put the M’s in the AL elite.

  25. kentroyals5 on December 12th, 2007 12:03 pm

    21-its supposed to rain for the next week straight!! YES

  26. bakomariner on December 12th, 2007 12:12 pm

    i would rather take on the kuroda contract, even if he becomes another washburn than not sign him and have to give up jones et al…you know that if bavasi doesn’t sign him, jones will be gone real quick…i am dreading the bad news…

  27. shupurrs on December 12th, 2007 12:38 pm

    I just don’t know. Giving up Jones will be a terrible decision. I’d much rather explore the fringe players who havent achieved maximum trade value like Bedard has right now. Buy low, sell high. Daniel Cabrera would make more sense for us in a deal with Baltimore than an ace who isn’t going to get us into the playoffs…

  28. bakomariner on December 12th, 2007 2:23 pm

    this just on espn.com…for those of us that want Kuroda, it sounds as though we still have a chance…

    Pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, the most hotly-pursued starter on this winter’s free agent market, will travel to the United States this week to meet with his agent and go over offers from major-league clubs, a source told ESPN.com.

    Several media outlets in Japan and Los Angeles have reported that Kuroda cancelled his U.S. visit and is leaning heavily toward signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. But Kuroda’s planned trip to California to meet with agent Steve Hilliard appears to indicate that he’s not as far along in the process as the reports suggest.

  29. Paul B on December 12th, 2007 4:25 pm

    If losing out on Kuroda means that we throw $50 million at Kyle Lohse, than this is terrible news. If it means we throw $10 million at Bartolo Colon, then it’s awesome.

    What if the M’s used the money to pay Sexson’s salary and then gave him away? That would be a faster way to improve the team than buying a pitcher that would likely be back of the rotation if healthy.

  30. MyOhMy on December 12th, 2007 4:54 pm

    27 – I agree on both Jones and the Cabrera-type idea! Jones finally makes the M’s more athletic and the type of player they need. I don’t know if the Orioles would make Cabrera available but he would seem to cost the M’s a little less … not Jones anyway.

    The M’s need more speed and more left handed hitting … obviously. Any chance of prying Felix Pie from the Cubs? Ethier from the Dodgers? Brian Roberts to upgrade 2B?

    I’m mortified to see what Team Bavasi comes up with … with or without Kuroda in the mix! Plan A seems weak and who knows what Plan B or C might be …

  31. HighCheese on December 12th, 2007 6:00 pm

    Many players would make the M’s more athletic. Last I heard, you don’t get extra points for it.

    You do get extra points for winning, and Bedard helps make that happen.

  32. MyOhMy on December 12th, 2007 6:15 pm

    Pitchers on the DL don’t help winning either.

  33. pensive on December 12th, 2007 6:48 pm

    The Dodgers non-tender Mark Hendrickson lefty pitcher.
    I believe he has been mentioned on this site in the past. He may actually be a better choice. Certainly much cheaper. Misses bats.

    Hope this is the type of pitcher Ms at least bring in to have a shot.

  34. msb on December 12th, 2007 7:07 pm

    boy the media on this is all over the place– mlb has a piece up saying Kuroda IS going to the Dodgers (“He gave three reasons: The Dodgers are playing their 50th year in LA, Joe Torre is the manager and the Dodgers have a better chance of reaching the playoffs than the Mariners”)

    of course, that report also repeats the Mariners 4/$44 offer story.

    Kuroda apparently told the assembled press corps as he left Japan that he had not made up his mind and was going to meet with his agent ….

  35. msb on December 13th, 2007 9:51 am

    “Dodgers free-agent target Hiroki Kuroda was on a flight that landed at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday morning, but departed without speaking to reporters. The right-handed pitcher told reporters at Narita Airport in Tokyo that he was traveling to the United States to meet with his agent, San Diego-based Steve Hilliard.

    Kuroda’s presence in Los Angeles further fueled speculation in Japan that he has his mind set on signing with the Dodgers, but Colletti said that no deal was in place and that Hilliard hadn’t reached out to the club to arrange a meeting.

    “I don’t have a feel for what their thought process is or what their timing is,” Colletti said.”

  36. ArtfulDodger on December 13th, 2007 12:38 pm

    THe following link http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071212&content_id=2324224&vkey=news_la&fext=.jsp&c_id=la
    indicates that Kuroda is signing with the blue crew for the following reasons. 1. THe dodgers have been in LA for over 50 years. 2. THey have Joe Torre 3. They have a better chance of making the playoffs. It’s hard to argue with reasons 2 and 3, not sure what to make of 1, this aint the sonics we’re talking about.

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