Cubs interested in free agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda

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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.

Report: Rays sign Brandon Lowe to six-year, $24 million contract extension

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Rays and infielder Brandon Lowe have agreed on a six-year, $24 million contract extension. Lowe has just 58 days of service time, so this will cover his three years of pre-arbitration as well as three arbitration years.

Lowe, 24, earned a promotion to the majors in early August last year, playing mostly at second base but also logging time in both outfield corners. Through the end of the season, he hit .233/.324/.450 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 148 plate appearances. Lowe also performed well this spring, batting .359/.405/.692 with a pair of homers and 14 RBI in 39 at-bats.

MLB Pipeline rates lowe as the No. 10 prospect in the Rays’ system. He is in line to see regular starts at second base, but the Rays will certainly be keen to utilize his versatility throughout the year.