SI.com’s Jon Heyman passes along a tweet stating that the Dodgers have less than $10 million to spend on pitchers.
Aaron Harang, Hikoki Kuroda, Chris Capuano, and Jeff Francis.
The names were listed in that order; it is really doubtful that the Harang would prefer Harang over Kuroda.
However, the option looms for Kuroda to return to Japan. The Dodgers are unsure whether or not they will be able to secure a commitment from Hiroki.
Encouraging news does state that Kuroda has been reluctant to play elsewhere in the Major Leagues. This was clearly proved by his refusal to waive his no-trade clause in July after reports allegedly had Kuroda being dealt to the New York Yankees.
Despite his record, Kuroda is coming off of his best season in the Majors; posting a 13-16 record, but with a 3.07 ERA.
Kuroda turns 37 in February, but has exhibited signs that he still has much left in the tank.
Kuroda made $11.7 million in 2011.
The alternative to Kuroda would be Aaron Harang, in my opinion. The Dodgers met with Harang to get an idea of where the pitcher stood.
Harang was once a “can’t miss” prospect with the Oakland Athletics before moving on to the Cincinnati Reds. His career never really took off. After many troublesome years, he moved on yet again; this time to the Padres, last season.
In San Diego, with the aid of Petco Park, he went 14-7 with a 3.64 ERA.
Those numbers could be expected to hover around the same mark while pitching at Dodger Stadium.
Last season, he made $3.5 million with the Padres, after making $14 million and $12.5 million the two seasons prior.
The other two options, Capuano and Francis are worth conversation, but really do not match up to the other two candidates.
Capuano was out of baseball for the 2008 and 2009 seasons. He had a decent return in 2010 with the Brewers, posting a 4-4 record with a 3.95 ERA. However, with the Mets in 2011, it was not good. He was 11-12 with a 4.55 ERA while playing at pitcher-friendly CitiField.
Then there is Francis, who spent many years in the Rockies’ farm system as a top-prospect. However, he never panned out. His best season in 2006 saw him go 13-11 with a 4.16 ERA. In 2007, he went 17-9 with a 4.22 ERA, but likely was helped by the Rockies’ potent offense of that season.
What would these pitchers translate to at Dodger Stadium? They likely would do better.
If two pitchers had to be chose to be the leaders, it is without a doubt that they be Hiroki Kuroda and Aaron Harang.