Hiroki Kuroda is scheduled to start for the Dodgers on Wednesday night against Colorado at Dodger Stadium. The only question is, will that be Kuroda's final start this year as a Dodger? Kuroda is one of the most coveted pitchers available this week, as we head into the MLB trade deadline this Sunday, but the final call will be made by Kuroda himself, thanks to his no-trade clause.
The Dodgers like having Kuroda, and he likes being a Dodger, so much so that he may re-sign with Los Angeles this winter. However, the Dodgers are out of the race -- 13½ games back entering play Monday -- so getting something in return for two months of Kuroda, then bringing him back this winter, is the best case scenario for the team. The demand for Kuroda this week is strong.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports said Monday that the Tigers, Indians, and Rangers were the three "hottest" teams in on Kuroda. Danny Knobler of CBS Sports added the Yankees, Red Sox, and Brewers to that list, and also noted, "the Dodgers continue to explore possible trades, and according to sources they believe that Kuroda could be persuaded to go to a contending team for the final two months of the season."
In the end, the ball remains in Kuroda's court. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN tweeted Monday, "A person who knows Hiroki Kuroda says he's not into 'hypotheticals,' so he'll make a call when deal is presented to him."
Whether it is the allure of playing for a potential winning team or if compensation is required to waive the no-trade clause, I believe Hiroki Kuroda will be traded this week. And since nobody knows for certain where Kuroda will pitch in 2012, it would be nice for Kuroda to have a nice send-off Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.
For more news and information on Hiroki Kuroda and the Dodgers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.