Dodgers’ Hiroki Kuroda clears the air about trade speculation


Reporting from San Francisco — Nearly every day for the last couple of weeks, Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda has been asked the same question: Have you heard anything?

Each time, he said he hadn’t.

That changed Monday, when Kuroda said he had met with General Manager Ned Colletti in the team hotel earlier in the day.

The subject of trade speculation, Kuroda said Colletti told him he would promptly inform him if or when another team inquires about him.

Kuroda’s one-year, $12-million contract with the Dodgers includes a provision that allows him to block a trade to any team. Kuroda said Colletti told him he doesn’t want to deal him and wants him to return next year, but that he wants to offer Kuroda the chance to win.

Colletti said Kuroda’s account of their meeting was accurate.

“I’m grateful that he took the time to talk to me,” Kuroda said. “It was very thoughtful of him to speak to me directly instead of speaking to me through my agent.”


Asked whether he would waive his no-trade clause, Kuroda said, “At this point, I don’t know yet.”

Kuroda is 6-11 but has a 3.13 earned-run average.

He said he didn’t know what to make of his situation.

“I have very complicated feelings. I can’t read the newspapers, so I don’t really know what’s happening,” said Kuroda, who doesn’t speak English.

This is a new experience for Kuroda. In his first three seasons in the major leagues, the Dodgers were buyers and not sellers. He spent his previous 11 seasons in Japan, where in-season trades are rare.

The next Martinez?

When Clayton Kershaw was a rookie, Joe Torre, then the Dodgers’ manager, compared him to Sandy Koufax.

Although Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly had trouble thinking of whom current rookie pitcher Rubby De La Rosa reminded him, he nodded in agreement when Pedro Martinez’s name was mentioned.

“Same type of live stuff,” Mattingly said. “The confidence.”

De La Rosa (3-4, 3.74 ERA) will start for the Dodgers in San Francisco on Tuesday night.

“He has a great composure, he’s got moxy about him, the way he walks around,” Mattingly said.

Short hops


The Dodgers and San Francisco Giants wore red ribbons on their uniforms in support of Until There’s A Cure, an organization dedicated to eradicating HIV/AIDS. … Andre Ethier and Tony Gwynn Jr. went into Monday with eight outfield assists, which tied them for second in the National League. … Reliever Kenley Jansen was averaging 14.49 strikeouts per nine innings through Sunday. Only Eric Gagne (14.98 strikeouts per nine innings in 2003) has posted a higher single-season mark in Dodgers history.