Hiroki Kuroda pitched for the Dodgers and the Yankees for several years, and pitched pretty darn well for a lot of those years. But upon his return to Japan, he is not remembering those years as particularly wonderful:
A simple question about how he viewed his time in the major leagues prompted him to drop a verbal bomb in his response.
“To sum it up in one word, it was ‘tough,'” Kuroda said in the news conference. “In a situation in which I didn’t understand the language and battled to make it through the season, the seven years were — including physically — tougher than they were enjoyable.”
Kuroda, 40, will pitch for the Hiroshima Carp this season. Here’s hoping he enjoys himself a bit more now that he’s back home.
Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas commanded a $68.5 million contract from the Diamondbacks in November and Yoan Moncada has been drawing most of the headlines lately, but Hector Olivera appears poised to beat his fellow countrymen at the signing table.
According to Peter Gammons of MLB Network and MLB.com, there are “five teams over $70 million” on the 29-year-old Olivera, who was a .323/.407/.505 hitter in 10 seasons with Asvispas de Santiago of Cuba’s Serie Nacional. Olivera played primarily at second base in Cuba, but the Dodgers — who are known to have serious interest — would likely ask him to play third base. The Braves, Giants, Athletics, Padres, Rangers, and Yankees are some of the other clubs that have been connected to him.
Olivera is still waiting to be cleared for MLB free agency, though that should be coming soon.
We have been hearing about Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada for months, but it sounds like the situation is finally getting close to a resolution:
Moncada, 19, was officially declared a free agent by MLB last week. One MLB executive told FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal earlier this week that he expects Moncada to ultimately land a bonus in the $40-50 million range. Whoever signs Moncada will have to pay a 100 percent tax for exceeding their allotted international bonus pool, so the total outlay to sign him could be in the range of $80-100 million.
Teams like the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Yankees are considered the favorites to land the switch-hitter, but he has also had private workouts with the likes of the Padres, Tigers, Giants, Rangers, Rays, and Brewers. Barring something unexpected, we can eliminate the Rangers and Cubs from the mix, as they exceeded their respective international bonus pools for the 2012-2013 signing period, and can’t offer Moncada more than $250,000 until the next signing period begins later this summer.