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
Gary Leonard | Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a regular weekly feature of LA Observed.
Jenny Burman | He was lucky to be white.
Steve Harvey | Steve Harvey collects signs and observations from around Southern California.
Iris Schneider | Outside City Hall, friends and family of California inmates identified as innocent by the California Innocence Project pleaded for Governor Brown to commute their sentences for the holidays.
Don Shirley | More than once, I've asked publicly how Center Theatre Group can possibly justify branding itself as 'LA's Theatre Company.' So I was fascinated when Diane Rodriguez, one of CTG's three associate artistic directors, raised the subject in an interview. Plus: Current stage reviews.
Jon Christensen and Mark Gold | A dramatic, wrenching, and potentially pivotal story is unfolding in the environmental movement right now. It came to a head last week after Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, posted messages in solidarity with #blacklivesmatter.
Judy Graeme | Two of the Sugar Plum Fairies in Westside Ballet's production of The Nutcracker have traveled very different paths to the iconic role.
Bill Boyarsky
By listening carefully to the new Los Angeles Times publisher at Town Hall Los Angeles Wednesday, it was possible to get a sense of Austin Beutner. It was also possible to see where he may be taking the 133-year-old paper.
Bill Boyarsky
On Wednesday, Austin Beutner, the new publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times, will, hopefully, shed light on the future of the paper when he speaks to civic leaders at Town Hall Los Angeles. Here are some questions he could be asked.
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
Here we are on Tuesday before the rain: And here we are this morning, just after:...