HIROSHIMA – Former New York Yankee Hiroki Kuroda on Friday expressed understanding in Hiroshima Carp teammate Kenta Maeda asking the club to allow him to move to the majors.
Maeda, a two-time winner of the Sawamura Award as Japan’s most impressive pitcher, asked the Carp on Tuesday to allow him to move to the major leagues through the posting system.
“For a pitcher who has gone that far, it’s something everyone will think about, to aim for the next stage,” said 40-year-old Kuroda. “The timing might be early or late depending on who you are, but I feel it is natural as an athlete.”
Maeda matched his career high in wins this season with a 15-8 record and a 2.09 ERA, earning his second Sawamura Award following his first in 2010. Under the current system, the Carp can demand $20 million in exchange for Maeda’s rights.
Kuroda was 11-8 with a 2.55 ERA in his first year back at the Carp, the team he left for the Los Angeles Dodgers ahead of the 2008 season. He was 79-79 with a 3.59 ERA over seven seasons in the majors.
“I’ll have to speak to the team in around a fortnight’s time,” said Kuroda of his own future ahead of the next season. “There’s the reorganization of the team to think about and I did think of the things that are of my interest.”
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