Japanese free-agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda is on the verge of signing a three-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to major-league sources.
Kuroda, 32, will bolster a rotation that already includes righties Derek Lowe, Brad Penny and Chad Billingsley, with Jason Schmidt recovering from shoulder surgery and Esteban Loaiza another candidate.
Financial terms of the deal are not yet known. The contract will not be final until Kuroda passes a physical.
The move, which helps the Dodgers counter the Diamondbacks' acquisition Friday of right-hander Dan Haren, is a significant blow to the Mariners, who were among the teams bidding heavily for Kuroda.
The Mariners, trying to add two starting pitchers, have spoken extensively with the Orioles about a trade for left-hander Erik Bedard. But Kuroda was a primary target for Seattle.
The Diamondbacks and Royals also had expressed strong interest in Kuroda, who was 103-89 with a 3.69 ERA in 11 seasons with the Hiroshima Carp, including 12-8 with a 3.56 ERA last season.
Several teams, including the Dodgers, were willing to give Kuroda a four-year deal. Kuroda, however, opted for three years, leaving open the possibility that he could finish his career in Japan.