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.

Red Sox score 7 in 7th to beat Rangers 9-4

Red Sox score 7 in 7th to beat Rangers 9-4

BOSTON (AP)  Dustin Pedroia waved home the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch, then singled in two more during Boston's seven-run seventh inning on Wednesday night and the Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers 9-4 for their third straight victory.

Chris Sale (5-2) struck out six, falling short in his attempt to become the first pitcher in baseball's modern era to strike out at least 10 batters in nine straight games in one season. He allowed three earned runs, six hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings and received more runs of support in the seventh inning alone than in any previous game this season.

Sam Dyson (1-5) faced seven batters in relief of Martin Perez and gave up four hits, three walks - two intentional - and a wild pitch without retiring a batter. Mike Napoli homered for Texas, which has lost three of four to follow a 10-game winning streak.