The Dodgers signed starter Chris Capuano to a two-year, $10 million contract on Friday, thus pulling themselves out of the running for Hiroki Kuroda.
Now the Japanese right-hander is said to be considering “all options” in free agency.
Well, here’s an intriguing one:
According to Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, new Cubs president Theo Epstein has expressed interest in bringing Kuroda aboard this winter.
The 36-year-old registered a sparkling 3.07 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 32 starts this past year for Los Angeles, striking out 161 batters and issuing only 49 walks over 202 total innings. He’s also considering an offer to return home to pitch for the Hiroshima Carp, and he’ll surely get offers from other MLB teams.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.