If free-agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda pitches in the United States next season, it apparently will be for the New York Yankees.Hopefully this is not just an empty rumor because it's is great news. They need Kuroda if they're going to compete with the rapidly improving AL East.
The Yankees are now "very confident" they're going to sign the 37-year-old Kuroda, and believe he will either pitch for them or return to Japan, say agents and clubs that have spoken with them. Meanwhile, other teams that have been reported as having interest in Kuroda -- particularly the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels -- appear to have shifted their focus elsewhere.
It's still possible, however, that Kuroda could return to Japan. He has said several times he wants to finish his career there, but hasn't said when.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
From Jayson Stark: