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.