LOS ANGELES -- Like Joe Torre, Hiroki Kuroda's three-year contract is coming to an end this season.
Unlike Torre, Kuroda isn't ready to announce anything yet.
"As with the last time I was a free agent [in Japan], I'll make my last start, then I'll start to think about next year," said Kuroda, who fell to 10-13 in Friday's loss, in which he allowed five runs (three earned) in six innings.
The Dodgers are expected to make an attempt to keep Kuroda, but probably not at the salary -- almost $12 million annually -- he commanded three years ago when he left Japan. Kuroda, who's carrying a 3.36 ERA, has remained healthy the entire season.
Torre came to decision slowly
LOS ANGELES -- One day after announcing he would step aside as manager, Joe Torre said Saturday he reached his decision while dining with his wife a month ago.
"It had been an ongoing conversation," said Torre. "In Spring Training, she asked if this was my last year, and I said, 'We'll see.' At dinner a month ago, she started quizzing me about stuff she sees from her perspective. At that point, I felt a lot of answers were different than they would have been."
Meanwhile, as Torre said at Friday's press conference, the team had gone into a second-half tailspin and hadn't responded to anything he was doing.
"I had been leaning this way for a while, but holding out in case I started changing my mind," Torre said. "As the year went on further, it set in that I just didn't feel I was making as much of an impact as I'd like to."
Torre again said the uncertainty of ownership, due to the McCourt divorce and its impact on team payroll, "didn't affect me at all."
"I learned with the Mets, when Mrs. Payson died and Mr. Payson didn't want any part of it and they had their austerity plan, the manager's job is to do the best you can with what you have," Torre said. "If you start wishing you had this or that, you're cheating yourself."
As for his team, Torre said, "I don't think it distracted them. If it affected them, that's their fault."
Torre said he expected to field broadcasting offers, but "I'm not sure I want to do that." He also hasn't ruled out managing elsewhere.
Podsednik trying to avoid surgery
LOS ANGELES -- Injured outfielder Scott Podsednik, back from seeing a foot specialist in Dallas, said he's confident he can avoid surgery for plantar fasciitis in his left heel.
Podsednik said that the painful condition (inflammation of the tendon connecting the heel and toes) is the result of "bad shoes."
Podsednik received an injection in the heel and was given a boot to wear for three weeks, during which he's been ordered to rest the foot and allow the inflammation to subside. If the condition doesn't respond to the conservative treatment, surgery is an option.
"But surgery has risks," Podsednik said. "It's not something I was comfortable with. There are other avenues to take. The doctors seem confident we'll get a good result [with these treatments]."
Podsednik, acquired from the Royals for two Minor Leaguers, has a contract that calls for a club option for 2011 for $2 million or a $100,000 buyout. If the club exercises the option, because he reached 525 plate appearances, he can void the deal, forfeit the buyout and become a free agent.
"There's a time and place for that, and it's not right now," Podsednik said.
Martin no longer using crutches
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers catcher Russell Martin was evaluated on Friday and told that he no longer needed crutches as the fracture in his right hip heals. Martin said he has already begun using an exercise bike.
Martin, lost for the season in early August, used crutches for six weeks. The 27-year-old, who hit .248 with five home runs and 26 RBIs before his injury, is eligible for arbitration this offseason.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.