Morning Marquee: Hiroki Kuroda returning to Japan


Free agent and former Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda is reportedly returning to Nippon Professional Baseball, and will pitch for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, the team he played for before coming to the United States. Last season, Kuroda went 11-9 with a 3.71 ERA. In seven seasons in the Majors, four with the Dodgers and three with the Yankees, he was a career 79-79 with a 3.45 ERA.

Dan Uggla signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals with an invitation to Spring Training on Friday. Uggla was eventually cut after three horrendous seasons, after being considered one of the best hitting second baseman in the game prior to that. The past three seasons, he’s hit .194 with 43 home runs between the Braves and Giants. In 2010 with the Marlins, he hit .287 with 33 home runs and 105 RBIs.

The Chicago Cubs have added two new faces to the rotation this off-season in Jon Lester and Jason Hammel. Two years ago, Travis Wood was the new face, and excelled in his first-year with the Cubs, making the All-Star team. But 2014 was a bit different, and Wood will have to fight for a spot in the rotation. There is also the possibility the left-hander could be packaged in a trade, as the Cubs look to have one spot in the rotation open, and five pitchers competing for it.

The Cubs acquired Mike Kickham off waivers from the Giants, a former No. 3 prospect in their system. The lefty struggled in his time in the Majors, but with the help of pitching coach Chris Bosio, it’s possible they could have grabbed themselves a sleeper. Kickham has all the tools, but has struggled with walks, and home runs allowed upon arriving to the Show. Can Bosio help straighten out his issues?

Here are some of the stories from yesterday around baseball:

‘Hiroki Kuroda heads back to Japan’ – Yanks Go Yard

‘Nationals sign Dan Uggla to minor-league deal’ – District on Deck

‘Should the Cubs trade Travis Wood this off-season?’ – Cubbies Crib

‘Mike Kickham could be a hidden gem for the Cubs‘ – Cubbies Crib

‘What role will Edwin Jackson fulfill in 2015?’ – Cubbies Crib