Though earlier rumors speculated that right-hander Hiroki Kuroda would either remain with the New York Yankees or return to Japan, new information has emerged that may indicate Kuroda prefers to return to Southern California, reports Mark Saxon of ESPN:
Kuroda has told friends that his first preference is to pitch in Southern California, where his two daughters are attending elementary school.
That means the Dodgers and Angels could be the frontrunners to acquire the 37-year-old right-hander, who is coming off his finest season in the major leagues. Considering Kuroda spent his first four seasons in the United States with the Dodgers, they would have a presumptive edge.
Both Los Angeles squads have made Zack Greinke their top priority this winter, but it is very likely that Kuroda is on their radar as well. The right-hander posted a fantastic 3.32 ERA and 6.8 K/9 rate in thirty-three starts for the Yankees this past season, providing New York with an incredible value for his $10 million salary.
The veteran will cost a draft pick wherever he ends up – unless it’s New York – because he declined the Yankees’ qualifying offer two weeks ago.