Dodgers Sign Kuroda

The Dodgers reportedly have signed Japanese pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to a three-year contract that will pay him between $36-40 million. It's obviously a lot of money, but it's a pretty good signing for the Blue Crew.

After Brad Penny, Derek Lowe, and Chad Billingsley, there were serious questions about who would fill the final two spots in the Dodger rotation. Jason Schmidt and Esteban Loaiza are both coming off injuries, and no one wants to rely on DJ Houlton, Eric Stults, or Hong-Chih Kuo. Kuroda led the Central League in complete games from 1999-2005, and has been one of the most consistent pitchers in Japan this decade. Given the lack of available quality free agent pitchers (Carlos Silva and Kyle Lohse may be the two best on the market now), this was really about the best the Dodgers could do. (Unless they wanted to sell the farm for Johan Santana.)

The signing goes to show the power that the Dodgers brand name has in Asia, but also give credit to Takashi Saito who reportedly played a role in luring Kuroda to come here.

Signing Japanese players does come with some inherent risk. One never knows how they will adjust culturally or how they might adapt to US training methods. And admittedly, I've never seen Kuroda pitch. But the track record for Japanese players with a high-quality resume like Kuroda's is particularly good, and one would have to assume that the Dodgers wouldn't spend $40 million on someone who their scouts didn't like. Kuroda signed a market-rate contract for starting pitchers and he figures to solidify the team's starting rotation.

December 15, 2007 2:42 PM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor
 

© 2003-2014   •  About LA Observed  •  Contact the editor
LA Biz Observed
2:07 PM Sat | The funeral for Mark Lacter will be held Sunday, Nov. 24 at 12 noon at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles 90045. Reception to follow.
Native Intelligence
Phil Wallace | The Lakers front office has a chance to take a superstar in next month's NBA Draft. But if recent history is any guide, there's a strong possibility that they'll take a complete bust. Whomever they take will determine how we evaluate the current front office.
Gary Leonard | Take My Picture Gary Leonard appears weekly at LA Observed.
Donna Perlmutter | Donna Perlmutter sees Igor Levit, Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Ballet Jazz Montréal and the Brentano String Quartet.
Bill Boyarsky
The best place to watch baseball in Los Angeles is not Dodger Stadium. It’s Jackie Robinson Stadium, the small, elegant home of the UCLA baseball Bruins. Unfortunately for the university, the ballpark occupies 10 acres of the 387-acre Veterans Administration health facility in West Los Angeles, land reserved for housing and treating veterans.
Jenny Burman
Before I lived in Echo Park, there was a tiny 1920s bungalow-cottage-standalone house on N. Occidental in Silver Lake. I...
Here in Malibu
We have weather moving through, a system that could have (but didn't) drop any rain here at the coast. But...