Take this one with a grain of salt, as Japanese news services have been wrong many times before about the goings-on in MLB. But here’s the report…
According to Sponichi, via the invaluable Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker, the Rangers are expressing free-agent interest in Hiroki Kuroda.
Kuroda has drawn attention from several teams this offseason, including the Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles and Rockies, but he’s not budging from an asking price that is thought to be in the range of $12-$13 million annually. The Rangers might not have that kind of room in their budget, and they already have six viable starters on their 40-man roster in Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando, and Yu Darvish — who is expected to sign a contract before the January 18 deadline. So it’s hard to see where Kuroda might fit.
But, hey, crazier things have happened. And the 36-year-old right-hander isn’t just some slouch.
Kuroda registered a 3.07 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 32 starts last year for the Dodgers, striking out 161 batters and issuing only 49 walks in 202 innings. He has a 3.45 career ERA in four major league seasons.