As you may know, old friend Hiroki Kuroda was set to decide today whether to accept the Yankees' qualifying offer for a one-year contract at $13.3Mil. If he declined, then he would become a free agent.
Well, it has just been reported that Kuroda will test the market, once again.
What does this mean?
Whatever MLB team that signs Kuroda to a free agent contract will have to do it at a cost. They will lose their upcoming 1st round draft pick. Additionally, the Yankees will gain (I think this is the right term) a supplemental 1st round draft pick as compensation. This would not be the draft pick the new team loses, but it is a draft pick made available to the Yankees after the initial 30 teams make their 1st round draft picks.
So, is signing Kuroda worth the loss of that 1st round draft pick.
I say YES! Although it's likely that Hiroki Kuroda will only stay stateside for another couple of years the stability he provides to the starting rotation today makes it worth it. That man is a warrior, and a desirable piece to the puzzle that has been the Dodgers. Sure, he's not an ace, but no pitcher in the market today brings the experience and consistency that Kuroda brings.
Some have argued that the loss of that 1st round draft pick is far too costly. That the future potential we lose is a significant financial and talent loss in the future. Overall, I tend agree with that, but draft picks aren't entirely risk free. In Baseball (unlike other sports) it is very difficult to accurately forecast whether any one player will succeed. Heck, most early pitching draft picks do not come close to being as good as Kuroda. So, why hope that we potentially might have a star pitcher a few years down the road when you can assure yourself of that high performing pitcher today.
On top of that, with the Dodgers expanding their scouting overseas, they can easily compensate that draft pick loss by upping their efforts in Asia and Latin America. And if I'm not mistaken, the Dodgers are already doing that.
So, sign Hiroki Kuroda and let him come home to the Dodgers. He never should have been allowed to leave anyway.
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