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Conflicting Reports About Hiroki Kuroda, Red Sox

On Tuesday, Red Sox fans heard word that their team was close to adding a big-time free agent pitcher to their lacking starting rotation.

ESPN's Jim Bowden reported in his column "Bowden Bullets" that the Red Sox were close to adding free agent starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to their 2012 starting rotation. As Bowden noted, such a move was going to make the Red Sox starting rotation relevant again.

The Boston Red Sox appear to be closing in on a short-term deal with right-hander Hiroki Kuroda to add him to a rotation that already has Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz and Daniel Bard. This move, along with the trades for relievers Mark Melancon and Andrew Bailey, quickly puts the Red Sox back among the AL's elite. Kuroda is extremely underrated for the valuable innings he can provide from the back of a rotation. (via ESPN)

Shortly after Bowden's assessment that Kuroda would be joining the Red Sox soon, there were reports that came out that shot the notion down.

According to ESPN's Buster Olney, WEEI's Alex Speier and CSNNE's Sean McAdam said the notion that Kuroda was close to joining the Red Sox was false. Well, so much for that.

Since posting his column this morning, Bowden has yet to back down from his claim that the Sox were close to adding Kuroda. So there's that.

If the Sox were able to add Kuroda, they would be getting one of the most consistent pitchers in all of baseball. In his four seasons with the Dodgers, Kuroda has averaged 12 wins a season with a 3.45 ERA and a little under 200 innings. He can strike out a fair amount of guys and doesn't walk a lot of people. If added, Kuroda would likely fit behind Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz in the rotation and would be playing for Bobby Valentine, who has a good relationship with Japanese players.

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