When Ken Davidoff left for the New York Post earlier this year, Newsday lost one of my personal favorites among the national baseball writers. But the move opened a spot for David Lennon, one of the truly nice guys in this business, and a nice addition to the national scene.
This weekend, Lennon offered his own expectations for the top free agents on the market, and it included this interesting note on Hiroki Kuroda:
Kuroda has told friends he’ll pitch for either the Yankees or the Hiroshima Carp next season but hasn’t decided yet. Also, he’s interested only in another one-year deal.
There’s little doubt that Kuroda enjoyed his year with the Yankees, and there’s no doubt the Yankees would like to have him back — hence the qualifying offer — but it’s hard to compete with a desire to go home. If Kuroda decides he’d rather go back to Japan, there probably won’t be much the Yankees can do to change his mind.
Among Lennon’s predictions, he sees Torii Hunter landing in Texas while the Yankees bring back Ichiro Suzuki to play right field. Lennon also sees the Yankees re-signing Russell Martin and adding Scott Hairston.