Though many believed free agent Hiroki Kuroda was deciding between returning to the New York Yankees next season or heading back to Japan, the 37 year-old starter has told friends that his first preference is to pitch in Southern California, reports Mark Saxan of ESPN Los Angeles.
Kuroda had a good season in the Bronx, making it to the ALCS as the team's number two starter, but would rather return to California where his two daughters are attending elementary school.
Suddenly, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the favorites to land Kuroda. Before signing with the Yankees in 2012, the veteran right-hander spent the first four seasons of his career with the Dodgers.
The Los Angeles Angels are also in the running for his services and most likely Kuroda's second choice behind the Dodgers.
In 33 starts, Kuroda was 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA and a career high 219.2 innings pitched. He also posted an 0-1 record with a 2.81 ERA in two postseason starts.
Though Kuroda is willing to accept a one-year deal, he turned down New York's $13.3 million qualifying offer earlier this offseason in hopes of finding a more lucrative deal on the free agent market.
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