Diamondbacks offer contract to Japanese pitcher

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks offered a contract to Japanese pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, joining a handful of teams to express interest in the right-hander.

"I can confirm we made an offer to Kuroda, but I'd rather not talk about it specifically," Arizona general manager Josh Byrnes said Tuesday.

The Seattle Mariners are thought to be the leading contender to sign the 32-year-old pitcher. Mariners GM Bill Bavasi and manager John McLaren traveled to Japan this month to meet with Kuroda's representatives.

Meanwhile, Arizona infielder Chad Tracy's rehabilitation from right knee surgery has been slowed by a blood clot.

"It's a bit of a setback," Byrnes said. "The first two months, things have gone very well. It's our hope and belief that this won't be a major setback."

Tracy missed most of last season with the injured knee and underwent microfracture surgery in September.

Byrnes said he still thinks Tracy can be ready by Opening Day.