Free agent starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda appears on the verge of returning to the Dodgers, according to a report from Sanspo.com. According to the report, Kuroda prefers a one-year contract, and will likely sign for about 10 billion yen, which is roughly $12 million. There were reports earlier in the night which reported the deal at $8 million, but it appears that was simply a miscalculation of Japanese yen to dollars.
Ken Gurnick of MLB.com noted that the Dodgers would not comment on the report, and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports got word from a Dodger source that it was "hard to tell" whether or not Kuroda and the Dodgers were close to a deal.
Kuroda had his best season in the major leagues in 2010, finishing 11-13 with a 3.39 ERA in a career-high 196 1/3 innings. Kuroda, who completed a three-year contract for $35.3 million this season, also had a career high with 159 strikeouts. Kuroda will turn 36 on February 10.
The Dodgers have made pitching a priority this offseason. They re-signed Ted Lilly to a three-year contract last month, and if Kuroda returns the club would have a solid front four of Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Lilly, and Kuroda.
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