Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rosenthal: Yankees Could Put Waiver Claim on Hiroki Kuroda

As per Rosenthal's Twitter:
Dodgers put Kuroda on waivers. Rival exec: "I guarantee Yankees are all over it." Kuroda owed about $2.7M. Lilly not yet on waivers. MLB
This is obviously a rumor, and a rumor in its infancy at that - but it did pique my interest. While Kuroda has struggled to stay healthy, he's been quite effective while toeing the mound. Take a look at his career numbers:

448 IP, 435 H, 104 BB, 321 K, 3.66 ERA, 3.53 FIP, 3.77 xFIP, 51.2% GB%

Perhaps more importantly, he doesn't appear to be a product of pitcher-friendly Dodgers Stadium, posting a 3.64 ERA, 3.74 FIP, 3.99 xFIP, and 2.75 K/BB on the road. And, for what it's worth, he's in the midst of the best season of his short career - and he's been better on the road then at home.

While the waiver system is incredibly complex, the Yankees could very well be the only team capable of absorbing Kuroda's salary at this juncture - and with the Dodgers on the verge of blowing up their team, other teams may not want to risk placing a claim on Kuroda as a blocking maneuver.

Kuroda is a free agent at year's end and, while I cannot substantiate this, I'll pass on that I've heard that he's expected to return to Japan at year's end (though he is expected to be a Type B free agent). If the price is right, I think that this could be a fantastic move.

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