Rumor de la nuit: Hiroki Kuroda


As the August 31st trade deadline draws near, teams — especially those out of contention — are placing most of their rosters on waivers, and the Dodgers are no exception. According to Ken Rosethal, the Dodgers have placed starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda on waivers, and the Yankees are going to be interested. Kuroda is owed approximately $2.7 million through the end of 2010 and will be free agent, most likely Type B, once the season is over. Said a so-called rival executive to Rosenthal, “I guarantee the Yankees are all over it.”

With Javier Vazquez out of the rotation for now, A.J. Burnett struggling to find consistency and Ivan Nova and Dustin Moseley question marks, Kuroda would be an intriguing option for the Yanks down the stretch. Since making his debut in 2008, Kuroda, now 35, has gotten better with experience. This year, he’s turning in his finest season in the Majors, and despite an 8-11 mark, he has a 3.48 ERA/3.36 FIP with a K/9 IP of 7.2 and a K/BB rate of 3.11. Opponents are hitting .254/.303/.367 off of him, and he would be a fine option to give the Yanks’ length down the stretch.

The question though of course concerns the Yanks’ placement in the waiver line. Because they’re not in the Dodgers’ league and have the best record in the AL, the Yanks have the lowest preference for a claim. With the knowledge that the Yanks are interested, the Red Sox or Rays could attempt to block the claim, but they then run the risk of getting stuck with Kuroda’s not-insignificant contract. Anyway, this is one rumor that may have some legs.


  1. bexarama says:

    Other than the injury history, I would not mind this… not mind this at all. But I dunno if it’s a real rumor or just “hey a player is available. So the Yankees must want him.”

  2. T-Dubs says:

    His numbers are pretty good this year. Over 6IP/start is fine by me for a month.

  3. Lloyd Christmas: Uh, what is the Soup Du Jour?
    Waitress: It’s the Soup of the Day.
    Lloyd: Mmmm. That sounds good. I’ll have that.

  4. Angelo says:

    The Yankees should lose 6 games straight to improve their chances of acquiring Kuroda. You might think that’s insane, but it’s just bold. Very bold.

    • 28 this year says:

      It looks like Average Joe’s is forfeiting the championship.

      Its a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off.

  5. FIPster Doofus says:

    I’d love this. Kuroda is quite underrated.

  6. Jamal G. says:

    The only teams I see in the Senior Circuit that would reasonably place a claim on Kuroda are the Padres and Phillies. The Padres seem most likely to me because I don’t know if the Phillies would risk adding on even more payroll after the Roy Oswalt acquisition to complement a rotation that is four starters deep.

    As for the American League, the same argument that I made for Philadelphia can be used for Texas and Minnesota, to an extent for the latter. Nick Blackburn is their weak link, but with a rotation that’s four guys deep, would they risk taking on that money?

    I don’t see a situation where the Red Sox would risk taking on that money (which includes a luxury tax penalty for them) with no holes in their rotation just create a block. The Rays seem like the likeliest scenario for a claim, but their ability to add on payroll is a major question mark.

    In the end, I think it’s down to the Padres and Rays as the two most-likely teams to put in a claim for Kuroda. Seeing as how there is a very real worry that Tampa Bay can not add $2.7M in payroll, I think the chance of Kuroda falling to the Yanks once he drops to the AL are more likely than some may think.

    • radnom says:

      The Rays seem like the likeliest scenario for a claim, but their ability to add on payroll is a major question mark.

      I think your argument for Philadelphia/Texas/Minn applies much more to The Rays. If they need a starter they have Hellickson in the pen.

      You’ve otherwise been pretty convincing that he could actually fall to the Yankees, but there is still 30 chances for some GM to make a “wtf” move, it always seems to be a team you don’t suspect.

      • Jamal G. says:

        You’re right – I just realized Wade Davis returned from the DL. With that being said, I really do think the Yanks have a good chance of being award the claim.

    • Jamal G. says:

      Just to be clear: the Braves, Cardinals and Reds all have full rotations, with the Reds’ Aaron Harang even making rehab starts.

      I should have mentioned the White Sox, but I figured Kenny Williams recognizes that pitching is not his team’s need. If Manny Ramirez is also put on waivers, I don’t Williams would run the risk of potentially taking on both of those salaries.

    • Reggie C. says:

      Apparently, the Rangers own the biggest and deepest couch (a/k/a credit facility) construed by man. Ryan will find enough pennies to take on that salary.

      I think that’d be the biggest potential wrench to a Kuroda-to-the-Yanks scenario.

  7. Total Dominication says:


  8. mikebk says:

    would be a very good move. he has gotten little consistent run support as evidenced by the dodgers being shut out 5 times in his starts. arb would be a huge risk though w a 15 mil salary.

  9. Sam says:

    So let’s say the Yankees claim Kuroda and Ned Colletti is feeling adventerous and decides to pay half of the remaining salary for a prospect or two-who could the Yankees give up to finish off the deal

  10. Carlosologist says:

    If Kuroda falls to us and we acquire him, I would assume Moseley gets the hook from the rotation. It would also give us some reliability in the back end in the playoffs.

    The playoff rotation (assuming we get Kuroda):

  11. RalphieD says:

    i wonder how the actual waiver system works? computer based? is there a waiver program that each team button=pass green=claim…lol there must be an iphone and android app for this!

  12. poster on another computer who happens to be a deuce bag says:

    If the Yankees get Kuroda, our rotation gets another upgrade (when Andy gets back) from merely “above average to good” up to “batshit insane” again like we were when Vazquez and Andy were raking.

    Seriously, I’d LOVE to get Kuroda.

    • Carlosologist says:

      Cosign. Our rotation would get a HUGE boost from Kuroda’s 110 ERA+.

      Fun Fact: Kuroda has done really well against teams with a WP of .500 or better in his career. He has an ERA of 3.16 against teams with a WP of .500+

  13. Cy Pettitte says:

    i like this, can’t argue with getting a few more options for the rotation, if AJ and/or Javy keeps struggling he’d be worth having around

  14. Uke says:

    I don’t know how excited I am about getting a pitcher who would be relocating to the AL East in the middle of a heated pennant race when he comes from the weak hitting NL West where he gets to face pitchers once every go around. What are they going to do, put AJ in the bullpen too? I’m fine with keeping Nova in the rotation for the league minimum rather than giving up potential prospects and money for Kuroda.

    • whozat says:

      It only makes sense if no prospects are involved. And, frankly, it’s odd that you’re happier with a journeyman (Mosely) and a rookie (Nova) than a guy who, at least, has done well in MLB.

      It could let them give Vazquez weeks of rest, it could let them move Hughes to the pen for the playoffs, it could let them skip AJ to try to get him straightened out. Options. Too many is WAY better than not enough.

    • Pasqua says:

      I think the best way to allay your concern is to consider the perspective that (I assume) the Yankees will apply: minimal expectations. I would see this as a depth move, pure and simple. Any positive contribution would be welcome.

  15. This would be awesome.

    Assuming the Yankees move Hughes to the bullpen in October, this would leave them with a playoff rotation of CC, A.J., Pettitte (assuming he’s healthy), and Kuroda. Maybe if Javy gets over his troubles by then he can slot in and Kuroda can go to the pen.

  16. mustang says:

    I still rather have Ted Lilly if put him on waivers and he makes to Yanks.

  17. Uke says:

    If Ted Lilly hits waivers, there is a .01% chance of him getting to the Yankees, we literally rank last on the waiver claim order in all of MLB, same with Kuroda, multiple teams will claim both Kuroda and Lilly simply to block the Yankees. The discussion is moot.

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