We can close the book on Hiroki Kuroda now. He finally signed today. According to the tweet from Jack Curry of the YES network, reported on MLB trade rumors, Kuroda has signed with the Yankees, pending a physical.
Kuroda had yet to sign until today, but had been talking to several teams, the Yankees being one of those. The terms of the contract are one year for between 10-11 million dollars. Kuroda made 12 million last year with the Dodgers. This is a sad day indeed, Kuroda has been one of my favorite Dodgers for a while now.
Kuroda is the former Japanese league all-star and ERA champion who signed with the Dodgers in 2008, and has been one of the most consistent dodger pitchers in recent memory. From 2008-2011 Kuroda pitched for the Dodgers often times with nearly zero run support. Kuroda exercised his no-trade clause last season at the trade deadline, refusing to be traded, despite several offers from teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, and Tigers. (We don’t know if he has another no-trade clause in this new contract with New York, that information was not disclosed.) Kuroda’s loyalty was almost unheard of in this modern era. Unfortunately the Dodgers are a team in bankruptcy and were unable to fit Kuroda into their budget. After the Dodgers signed Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang, it was clear that Kuroda was not coming back this time. After rumors he might return to pitch for his old team the Hiroshima Carp, Kuroda finally signed, this time with the Yankees.
Kuroda perhaps had his finest season in Dodger Blue last year. He finished ninth in the league in ERA, and pitched in over 200 innings. He was 13-16 with a 3.07 ERA in 202 innings pitched. At least we won’t have to watch Kuroda pitching against the Dodgers. Maybe that was a contributing factor of him wanting to go pitch over there? Kuroda had said before that he only wanted to pitch for the Dodgers, but they couldn’t afford him.
Overall Kuroda is 41-46 in the majors with a 3.45 ERA. Despite a losing record, we all know Kuroda has pitched way better than his record indicates. Kuroda turns 37 next month, and it’s unclear exactly how much Baseball he has left in him. Regardless we know he will pitch with the same class and dignity he displayed during his four years with the Dodgers.
This is McCourt’s last sin towards Dodger fans. His bankruptcy has cost us Hiroki Kuroda. If you don’t already hate McCourt now, here is yet another reason to hate the slimy bugger. As if we don’t already have enough reasons to hate Frank anyways. (Who doesn’t hate McCourt?) The man has cost us our Hiro, and we won’t forget this atrocity. Despite McCourt’s shadiness, Kuroda is a true Hiro. Goodbye Hiroki, we wish you a happy and successful season in New York. Good luck Kuroda. I hope this time around, the man can finally get some runs. We will miss you Hiroki.