Now that Hiroki Kuroda is willing to sign with someone other than the Dodgers plenty of teams are interested in the 36-year-old starter and Steve Henson of Yahoo! Sports reports that he’s in serious discussions with the Diamondbacks.
In fact, according to Henson a deal with Arizona “could get done this week” if Kuroda is willing to drop his demand for second-year player option.
Kuroda hasn’t ruled out returning to Japan, but with the Dodgers apparently out of the picture now there should be enough interest from MLB contenders to get him a one-year deal in excess of $10 million.
Kuroda is often left out of discussions about No. 1 starters, but he logged 202 innings with a 3.03 ERA this year and has a 3.45 ERA in 114 career starts.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.