ESPN baseball analyst and former major league general manager Jim Bowden dropped this interesting nugget in his Bowden Bullets piece today:
The Boston Red Sox appear to be closing in on a short-term deal with right-hander Hiroki Kuroda to add him to a rotation that already has Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz and Daniel Bard. This move, along with the trades for relievers Mark Melancon and Andrew Bailey, quickly puts the Red Sox back among the AL’s elite. Kuroda is extremely underrated for the valuable innings he can provide from the back of a rotation.
The durable Kuroda has made at least 30 starts for the Dodgers in four of the last five seasons, including the last two. He pitched a career-high 202 innings in 2011 with a career-best 3.07 ERA and 161 strikeouts.
ESPN Stats & Information guru Jeremy Lundblad also points out that Kuroda is one of only nine starting pitchers with a sub-3.80 ERA in each of the last four seasons. The others are CC Sabathia, Tim Lincecum, Cliff Lee, Felix Hernandez, Wandy Rodriguez, Roy Halladay and Matt Cain. Impressive company to be sure.
Kuroda is 36 years old, so a short-term deal might be exactly what the Red Sox are looking for here.
Before we get too carried away though, we point out this tweet from ESPN MLB Insider Buster Olney:
So ... I guess that's that, at least for now.