As the elusive veteran pitcher world turns
There was quite a bit of drama for a Friday evening as Kenny Rogers fired Scott Boras. Rogers sent an email to all GM’s (wouldn’t that be a neat distribution list to have?) saying that he was now representing himself. This seems like great news for the Tigers who were hoping to resign Rogers. Kenny sent an email last night to Jason Beck saying that he still hopes to be a Tiger in 2008.
I do expect Rogers to sign by Monday at the latest, but am a little curious why he emailed all the GM’s. (**wild blog speculation ahead**) Perhaps he was just trying to confirm the discussions that Boras had had with various clubs and the various offers that had or hadn’t been made. Maybe Rogers distrusted Boras, or didn’t think he was accurately representing his wishes. Or maybe he’s just trying to understand his market for his own sake. (**end wild blog rumor mongering**) And it probably doesn’t matter. By his own admission Rogers wants to be hear, and the Tigers haven’t shown to be cheap when it comes to players they want.
Regardless, Jon Paul Morosi gives us yet another free agent pitcher name to consider in the form of Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda is from Japan, but is a free agent so there is no posting fee like the Red Sox incurred with Daisuke Matsuzaka. Kuroda is a 32 year old right hander who stands 6′ 1″
I honestly don’t know much about Kuroda, but did find 2 assessments. One is from MLB Trade Rumors which had this report
One number to remember here: 300, as in 300 feet to left and 300 feet to right. That’s the stadium Kuroda spent 10 years in, and still he managed to post a sub-2.00 ERA in 2006 and go 13-6. What could he do in Petco with 67 extra feet to left to play with? Tak says that at the least, he’s an innings eater.
Meanwhile Baseball Prospectus had him rated as a top tier Japanese free agent and had this to say:
He’s not Daisuke Matsuzaka, but Kuroda a very strong power pitcher with a low to mid-90s fastball and a wicked forkball. In addition, he features a plus shuuto, something like a screwball, as well as an effective change. Even if he only pans out as a third or fourth starter in the majors, he will give you innings, work deep into games, and he should be fairly consistent start to start.
For an asking price of $7-8 million over 3 years he certainly would rate as intriguing at this point.
I still think that the Tigers should look to add someone beyond Rogers and had been thinking of Bartolo Colon or Kerry Wood. A couple of risky guys with some upside who could be had for 1 year deals. Give said pitcher the last spot in the rotation. If it doesn’t work out you haven’t invested a lot and Andrew Miller is still waiting in the wings. It also means that if Miller isn’t ready, or Rogers can’t go a full season (both decent possibilities) it is another layer of depth.