I am getting more interested in Kuroda as a possibility. He has question marks, sure, but so do Wolf, Colon, etc. I thought I'd use the Search function to see what others thought. Here are the most recent comments about Kuroda from Jeff and the LL community:
"From what I can tell, the former (Fukudome) is intriguing, and the latter (Kuroda) isn't." -- Jeff
"Kuroda has pitched his entire career in a hitter's park." -- rfloh
"I think signing him will at least give us a guy who can hopefully go 7 innings most of the time." -- schwagnah
"I say pick up Kuroda if he takes Kenji's route (wants to come to Seattle and will take a pay cut to do so). If not, pick up 2 high risk lower cost pitchers such as Colon or Wolf." -- redwolf75
"Other than his agent, who said Kuroda is one of the best pitchers in Japan?" -- G
This led me to a wider search, namely, who really does like Kuroda? And away we go...
Over at USSM:
"Also, Dave - what are your thoughts on Kuroda? Personally, after reading scouting reports (including Churchill's), I'm not enthused, and would much rather see a one-year deal to Colon." -- M Honcho
"He sounds like a #5 starter - a fringe stuff strike thrower without an out pitch. We have enough of those." -- Dave, USSM
"Though Urbon is positioning Kuroda as a No. 1 or 2 starter, he is generally regarded by scouts as a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher." -- Grizz, from Stone
Okay, so Kuroda is not a big hit over at USSM.
How about elsewhere?
From MLB Trade Rumors:
"The Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan had some information regarding Japanese starter Hiroki Kuroda in his column yesterday. Apparently the Cubs and Mariners are leading the pack for his services, should he choose to opt out of his contract. According to Sullivan, Kuroda signed a four-year, $10.4MM deal with the Hiroshima Carps last winter. He would have no problems getting three years, $12MM over here.
Kuroda, a 32 year-old righty, won the Central League ERA title in '06 with a 1.85 mark. That ballooned to 3.56 this year as the command master saw his home run and hit rates rise. Kuroda could be very successful in the NL Central. If my guess on his price tag is correct, he could be one of few free agent bargains this winter."
And from mlb.com:
" Carp manager Marty Brown, contacted in late September, said that Kuroda "is one of the best over here. He's a solid No. 3 starter with similar stuff to [Daisuke] Matsuzaka, with maybe a better slider. And he is one of the best fielders at his position -- holds runners well and knows himself as a pitcher and human being.
"I'm not sure what he is going to do, but I know that the possibility [of coming to the Major Leagues] has increased."
Kuroda is a free agent, so any interested club would not have to come up with a posting fee; it can deal with his agent directly."
Hold the phone, did Marty just compare Kuroda to Daisuke, with a better slider?!
I don't think we Mariners fans have any clue what Kuroda will do in America. But, he has stated he would prefer a West Coast team. Lets assume he likes Seattle. Lets say he costs 3 years, at 6 mil per year. Lets also assume he isnt at Daisuke's caliber, but is instead exactly between Daisuke and Baek.
Is that a good #3 starter?
Is that worth the money?
How likely are we to do any better?
Will Colon or Wolf be any better for any cheaper?
Kuroda is definitely worth considering.
I'd sign him.