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Friday, July 22, 2011
Hiroki Kuroda on trade block?

By Tony Jackson
ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, who is a potential free agent after the season and one of the most sought-after starting pitchers with baseball's annual trading deadline now just more than a week away, has declined general manager Ned Colletti's request to submit a list of teams for which he would waive his no-trade rights, a source with knowledge of the situation said on the condition of anonymity.

Colletti made that request to Kuroda on Monday, but Kuroda instead wants to consider trade possibilities on an individual basis as they are presented, the source said.

Colletti made the request so he and his staff wouldn't waste time negotiating trades with teams that Kuroda ultimately would reject. In theory, then, Kuroda's decision not to submit such a list could diminish his chances of being traded, although it isn't at all clear that Kuroda even wants to be traded.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, would prefer to keep Kuroda because they don't have many alternatives for his rotation spot. But given that this could be his final year in the U.S. -- Kuroda is presently pitching on a one-year, $12 million contract and is said by several sources to be strongly considering a return to his native Japan after the season -- the club was willing to give him a chance to finish the season with a contending team.

The Dodgers would seek a package of young players or high-level minor league prospects in any deal involving Kuroda.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.