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
Don Shirley | It might seem inconceivable that a spoiler is possible for "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at The Broad Stage. Also "Rest" at SCR.
Gary Leonard | Gary Leonard on the first day of street sales for the Los Angeles Register. Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a weekly feature of LA Observed.
Ellen Alperstein | The question 'how hot is it?' once again will be answered by the landmark thermometer in the desert town of Baker.
Phil Wallace | With the Lakers worst-ever season in Los Angeles ending this week, it's time to look ahead. What should the Lakers do next to reverse their fortunes?
Jon Christensen and Mark Gold | LA mayor Eric Garcetti has a narrative problem. The two stories he is telling about Los Angeles don't line up. Winning an Olympic bid could provide the deus ex machina the city needs in the absence of a heroic storyline.
Bill Boyarsky
It’s not easy to figure out Mayor Eric Garcetti’s grand plan for Los Angeles, or even if he has one. His state of the city speech Thursday didn’t help. "It starts with modern technology,” the mayor said, and then sort of left us hanging.
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
Remember this, the mobile home in need of so much repair that one of the metrics I used to interview...