Turning to Japan?

The Cubs Looking at Hiroki Kuroda

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune from Paul Sullivan on Sunday night, the Cubs are one of two teams looking at Japanese right hander Hiroki Kuroda. The Cubs were interested in signing Kuroda last off-season according to Sullivan but he decided to remain in Japan and signed a 4-year, $10.4 million dollar deal. Kuroda has to decide soon if he is going to exercise an opt out clause in his contract. The 32-year old has a career record of 103-89 with a 3.69 ERA in 11 seasons with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.

Kuroda projects to be a 4th or 5th starter in the Majors according to Sullivan and many think he is “more polished than Daisuke Matsuzaka.” Teams interested in Kuroda would not have to pay a posting fee like Boston did with Matsuzaka last off-season. Sullivan said the Cubs and the Seattle Mariners appear to be the teams most interested in his services.

Kuroda’s stats are impressive. He was 12-8 in 2007 with a 3.56 ERA. He struck out 123 in 179 innings with 42 walks. In 2006 Kuroda was 13-6 with a 1.85 ERA. In each of his last 3 seasons he has averaged more than 6 strikeouts per 9 innings.

Kuroda’s Stats from Japanese Baseball.com
Kuroda’s Stats from the Baseball Cube

This would be an interesting move. The Cubs need another starter. Stay Tuned….

Quote of the Day

"There are places I remember. All my life though some have changed. Some forever not for better. Some have gone and some remain. All these places have their moments ... " John Lennon/Paul McCartney