Report: Padres tried to sign Hiroki Kuroda

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Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that before starter Hiroki Kuroda decided to return to Japan, the Padres made a serious push to sign the right-hander. A source for Sanders suggested that a report of a one-year deal worth $18 million was “a little high”, but it nevertheless showed the Padres’ commitment towards competing in the 2015 season.

Kuroda, 39, finished his final season in the major leagues with a 3.71 ERA and a 146/35 K/BB ratio in 199 innings for the Yankees. In seven seasons in the bigs (four with the Dodgers, three with the Yankees), Kuroda never finished with an ERA higher than 3.76. The veteran will play what is likely his last professional season with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in Japan’s Central League.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.