According to multiple sources, the Red Sox have interest in free agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, with the 36-year-old open to playing in Boston.
The acceptance by Kuroda to play with the Red Sox is a change of course from his stance during the non-waiver trade deadline, when the right-hander told the Dodgers he would block any deal by Los Angeles. The Red Sox had originally identified Kuroda as one of their top targets at the non-waiver trade deadline, along with Ubaldo Jimenez and Erik Bedard, before learning that the pitcher would be taking advantage of his no-trade clause.
According to one source, while the Red Sox have interest in Kuroda any legitimate attempt at signing the hurler would be contingent on the organization gaining budgetary flexibility through other offseason moves. Kuroda won't demand the kind of contract free agent pitcher C.J. Wilson (or even Mark Buehrle) might land, but his productivity and reliability throughout four major league seasons will surely lead to a multi-year deal. It wouldn't be a surprise if Kuroda lands an annual average salary of more than the $11.7 million he garnered in 2011.
The Yankees, Angels, Marlins, Rockies and Rangers are also potential suitors for Kuroda, who went 13-16 with a 3.07 ERA in 32 starts for the Dodgers in '11.
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