There might be a reason why the Los Angeles Angels have reportedly gotten involved in trying to sign free agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda.

Previously, teams have been under the impression that Kuroda would either re-sign with the New York Yankees or return to his native Japan to finish his career. But Kuroda has told friends that his first preference is to pitch in Southern California, where his two daughters are attending elementary school.

That means the Dodgers and Angels could be the frontrunners to acquire the 37-year-old right-hander, who is coming off his finest season in the major leagues. Considering Kuroda spent his first four seasons in the United States with the Dodgers, they would have a presumptive edge.

Largely due to financial constraints while they were in bankruptcy, the Dodgers did not make Kuroda a formal offer when he was a free agent last winter -- though he was coming off a season with a 3.07 ERA and more than 200 innings pitched. He went to New York and went 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA.