Recent reports state that the Red Sox are watching Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda, with ESPN's Buster Olney with an update in his Sunday blog:
Hiroki Kuroda has not ruled any team out, in his discussions with the Dodgers related to his no-trade clause, and so the Dodgers will take the offers to him on a case-by-case basis, if they have something serious arranged. The Red Sox are one of those teams for which Kuroda would be a nice fit, especially considering the reality that Boston doesn't know when Clay Buchholz will be coming back.
Buccholz is out with a back injury and has yet to take the mound since going on the DL, so it makes sense for the Red Sox to show interest. Here is a tweet from ESPN's Stephania Bell on Buchholz status:
@Stephania_ESPN Can't throw from mound yet. Back still sore. No clear timetable. RT @dkleinmeyer: @Stephania_ESPN @pstepnowskyhow bout clay Buchholz. Thx 2
Do the Red Sox have a prospect that could land Kuroda? I think they do, but wonder if Kuroda can command a prospect like third baseman Will Middlebrooks. The Dodgers farm system has plenty of depth in pitching prospects and outfielders, but do not have a top catching or third base prospect, so the Dodgers certainly would have interest in Middlebrooks if Kuroda agrees to a deal to Boston. Maybe throw in shortstop Rafael Furcal as well.
The Red Sox could certainly use a starter with Jon Lester on the DL (returning early this week), John Lackey struggling for most of the season, and Buccholz on the DL with no timetable for his return. The Dodgers are out of the wildcard chase and have no need for Kuroda on their roster right now.
Should Kuroda be dealt, the Dodgers could bring up AAA starter John Ely to take his spot. Or, they could call up AA starter Nathan Eovaldi to see if he is ready for a rotation spot in 2012. Eovaldi has moved in midseason prospect rankings this season, as he is 6-4 with a 2.61 ERA, a 1.183 WHIP and a 94-40 K/BB rate in 93 innings pitched. Eovaldi is only 21 years old pitching in AA for the first time this season, but has a chance to see major league action as soon as this season.
Should the Red Sox deal for Hiroki Kuroda?