*** UPDATE (to my prior update) ***
More info available from Tony Jackson of the L. A. Daily News. Kuroda is not OFFICIALLY a Dodger, but is favoring them over the Mariners as of now. His friendship with Takashi Saito certainly helps. My guess is that this will be a developing story over the next few days.
*** UPDATE ***
Looks like Kuroda is a Dodger, or so claims mlbtraderumors.com. More on this to follow I'm sure.
The newest Japanese pitching sensation, right-handed Hiroki Kuroda, continues to be a hot topic among a few teams. As of now, it looks like the standings for his services look something like this: Seattle Mariners, Dodgers, and Arizona Diamondbacks. Kuroda, who will be 33 next season, will decide his team based on personal preference.
As far as offers being made, sources say the M's have 3 years/$10-12 million, the Dodgers are at 3 years/$10 million, and the DBacks are in a similar range to LA. Sources also claim that it's really a 2 horse race in the M's and Dodgers. The reason for the 3 year offers is that Kuroda would like to be back in Japan by 2011. So if he's already planning on going back, why is he coming here to begin with? Seems a bit odd, but money talks. We shall see.
Both teams could use a starting pitcher, that's for sure. Outside of Felix Hernandez and possibly Jarod Washburn, there's really not much else there in Seattle. The Dodgers are still trying to recover from the Jason Schmidt debacle, though Brad Penny stepped up big time.
A decision should be due in a week.