If one pitcher embodied the Dodgers’ up and down season, it’s Hiroki Kuroda. Despite a solid earned run average hovering above or below 3.00 in his 29 starts, his record of 11-16 is mostly due to lack of run support and the occasional shaky outing.
Kuroda’s a free agent at season’s end and despite his consistency the past few seasons, it’s possible the Dodgers will let him walk and save the $11.7 million they’ll pay him this year. The question is, who can the Dodgers look at to replace him.
The 2012 free agent market offers slim pickings on the mound. It’s unlikely the Dodgers will get or can afford a big name starter so they’re better off gambling with someone who can support Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley
In replacing Kuroda, the Dodgers need to find a reliable veteran who can bring some stability to a lineup. Someone who can be a reliable No. 3 or 4 and most of all inexpensive, since the Dodgers more than likely won’t be able to afford a big name.
Here are four candidates worth looking at who could cost half as much or less than Kuroda.