From the Dept. of Pleasant Surprises, Hiroki Kuroda is on the verge of returning to the Dodgers.
Negating earlier fears that Kuroda would want a multiyear contract that would take him out of the Dodgers’ spending range, we have since been learning that Kuroda wants to take a short-term approach to his future in the U.S., and is close to signing a one-year contract believed to be worth $12 million, albeit according to anonymous sources.
This signing would solidify the front four of the Dodger starting rotation. That still leaves other areas for the Dodgers to focus on: the remaining uncertainty in the outfield, the infield, at catching, at pitching. So much uncertainty, in fact, that it still seems clear to me that the Dodgers’ 2011 fortunes still heavily depend on rebound seasons from players already in-house.
Kuroda, who suffered through an injury-plagued 2009, was someone who had such a rebound season in 2010. Hopefully, he’s still got even more bounce for the 2011 Dodgers.