Kuroda to remain in Majors; Red Sox a real option?

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Kuroda to remain in Majors; Red Sox a real option?

When you really think about it, not a lot has changed when it comes to the Red Sox' pitching rotation.

Consider it addition by subtraction that John Lackey won't be around. As of now, same goes for Tim Wakefield.

Josh Beckett will be back, as will Jon Lester -- both hopefully able to look down and see their cleats. Clay Buchholz was dealt an unfortunate injury, and if healthy, could be a superb third starter. Could.

And the Daniel Bard experiment is yet to get underway.

But who's going to round it out? Aaron Cook? We can only be so lucky...

Now, news surfaces that former Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda isn't heading back to Japan after all.

NPB Tracker, which is a website dedicated to "baseball in Japan and around the world", reports that multiple Japanese media outlets report that Kuroda has informed the Hiroshima Carp that he is now planning on pitching in the Majors in 2012.

To sum up 20 different reports: There's an outside chance Kuroda could land with the Sox.

He'll decide on a MLB team in the next couple of days, and the Sox, among a few other teams including the Yankees, have expressed interest.

Kuroda is 41-46 in his four-year career with the Dodgers, posting a career 1.19 WHIP and 3.45 ERA while striking out 523 batters in 699 innings.

Last season, Kuroda went 13-16 in 32 games (202 IP) with a 1.21 ERA and 3.07 ERA.

The kicker? He wants 13 million per year, reportedly, over one or two years.

13 million, Hiroki? That's almost one billion Japanese Yen. So unnecessary.

Are the Sox willing to increase their salary in the range of 13M for this guy? They've forked over a lot more money for other Japanese pitchers in the past with, um, mixed results ("Dude, he throws a Gyroball!"), but the need to improve pitching is still there.

The Sox have also been reportedly interested in the Cubs' Matt Garza and free agent Roy Oswalt.

Rask stops 35 shots in Bruins' 2-1 win over Sabres

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Rask stops 35 shots in Bruins' 2-1 win over Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Tuukka Rask made 35 saves to help the Bruins hold off the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on Saturday

David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron scored to give Boston a 2-0 lead and the Bruins improved to 3-0-1 in their past four.

Evander Kane scored his first goal of the season for Buffalo. Robin Lehner returned after missing one game with a hip injury and made 32 saves.

The Sabres combined for nine goals in their previous two wins but the NHL's lowest-scoring team reverted to form from the first 21 games, when star center Jack Eichel was out of the lineup with a high-ankle sprain.

Krejci got the Bruins on the scoreboard with 5:50 left in the first when he deflected Brandon Carlo's slap shot from the point off the right post and into the net.

The Sabres appeared to tie the game late in the second period but replays determined Brian Gionta kicked the puck into the net.

Bergeron made it 2-0 at 7:10 of the second at 7:44 of the third when he knocked on the rebound of his own missed shot. Bergeron initially hit the puck with his forearm on the left edge of the crease and skated around the net to chase down the puck and slip a backhand past Lehner.

The Sabres answered two minutes later, scoring on Rask for the first time in 109:12 this season. Sam Reinhart's feed off the rear wall set up Kane for a wrist shot from the slot that bounced in off Krejci. Reinhart has five points in his last four games.

NOTES: Bruins F Matt Beleskey was escorted to the dressing room in the final minute of the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return. ... Sabres D Josh Gorges did not play after injuring his foot blocking a shot in Thursday's win over the New York Rangers. With Dmitry Kulikov (lower back) and Zach Bogosian (MCL sprain) also out, the Sabres were down three of their top four defenseman and recalled 19-year-old Brendan Guhle from the minors to make his NHL debut. Guhle hustled back to thwart a breakaway by Krejci late in the third period. ... F Anton Blidh became the seventh Bruin to make his NHL debut this season after being recalled from the minors on Friday. ... The Bruins scratched F Jimmy Hayes. D Zdeno Chara, the Bruins' captain, missed his sixth straight game with a lower-body injury. ... Rask got a shutout in Boston's 4-0 win over Buffalo on Nov. 7.

UP NEXT

Bruins: Host Florida on Monday.

Sabres: At Washington on Monday.

 

© 2016 by STATS and The Associated Press.

Gronkowski put on IR, officially ending his season

Gronkowski put on IR, officially ending his season

The Patriots have placed Rob Gronkowski on injured reserve, officially ending the injured tight end's season. 

The Patriots have added running back D.J. Foster to the 53-man roster. 

Gronkowski underwent surgery on his back Friday in Los Angeles. There was some hope he might be able to return if the Patriots reached the Super Bowl, but this move ends that.

More to come...