The Los Angeles Dodgers sent a three-man contingent that included closer Takashi Saito to meet with free-agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda in Tokyo last week, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
With a shortage of quality arms among free agents and high asking prices for top-quality pitchers on the trade market, the 32-year-old could be an affordable option to bolster their rotation, the Times said.
Visiting Kuroda with Saito to convey the Dodgers' interest were director of Asian operations Acey Kohrogi and scout Keiichi Kojima.
The right-hander has a 103-89 record with a 3.69 ERA in 11 seasons with the Hiroshima Carp. He had his best season in 2006, when he was 13-6 with a 1.85 ERA.
Kuroda, who is expected to receive at least a three-year deal worth up to $10 million a season, could be a fourth or fifth starter in a Dodgers' rotation with question marks, the report said.
But Kuroda has several suitors, including the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals. The Arizona Diamondbacks confirmed Tuesday they had made an offer to the pitcher.