Hiroki Kuroda staying with Dodgers
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Hiroki Kuroda instructed his agent on Saturday to inform general manager Ned Colletti that he won't accept a trade to any team, ending weeks of speculation that Kuroda was on the verge of being dealt.
Kuroda's current contract, a one-year, $12 million deal he signed last winter, grants him full no-trade rights, meaning he couldn't be traded without his approval.
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"I told Ned through my agent (Steve Hilliard) that I will be wearing this uniform throughout the season," Kuroda said, with Kenji Nimura interpreting. "I'm not going anywhere."
Kuroda earlier had signaled to the Dodgers, according to a major league source, his willingness to waive his no-trade clause for the Red Sox, Yankees and Rangers, the three teams most aggressively pursuing his services.
The Rangers had the best offer on the table for the 36-year-old Japanese right-hander, according to the source, though the Red Sox and Yankees were still very much in the running.
Kuroda said Colletti hadn't submitted any specific trades to any teams for his approval.
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"Through my agent, I had heard a lot of things about some teams having interest in me," Kuroda said. "Last year, after thinking about it a lot, I decided to play for the Dodgers for one year, and that is still my plan."
Kuroda cited affection for, and loyalty to, his teammates as the reason for his decision.
"A key factor in me staying here is that it's really important for me to play with the same guys I started with," Kuroda said.
Colletti said he wasn't surprised by Kuroda's decision and that he got a sense during a meeting with Kuroda at the team's San Francisco hotel on July 18 that Kuroda didn't really want to go anywhere.
"In a way, it's refreshing,'' Colletti said. "He made a commitment to sign here, and he wants to fulfill that commitment. Knowing him like I know him, I'm not surprised that is the way he felt. In my heart of hearts, I would have been more surprised if he had said, 'OK, I'll go somewhere else.'''
Kuroda is in his fourth season with the Dodgers since coming to the U.S. from his native Japan, where he pitched 11 seasons for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. He initially chose the Dodgers from among four teams, at least two -- the Arizona Diamondbacks and Kansas City Royals -- who were offering four-year deals. Kuroda ultimately accepted a three-year, $35.3 million deal with the Dodgers, then re-signed with them last winter.
Kuroda could choose to return to Japan after the season, when he again will be a free agent, but he said he hasn't made that decision yet.
"I haven't really thought about next year at all," he said. "Like I always say, it's one game at a time, and I'm concentrating on my next start."
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Information from ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes was used in this report.
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