Kei Igawa Hopes To Play On West Coast
Word from Yahoo Japan (in Japanese) tonight is that southpaw pitcher Kei Igawa would like to join a West Coast team. That probably means the Dodgers or Mariners, who have hosted such Japanese stars as Ichiro, Kenji Johjima, and Takashi Saito.
Of course, Igawa is coming to the U.S. via the posting system and doesn't have a say in his destination. However, his preference to play on the west coast may compel Ned Colletti or Bill Bavasi to bid higher and sign Igawa to a slightly cheaper contract.
So far the Braves, Mets, and Tigers have also been connected to Igawa. The smart money is on the Dodgers or Mariners with the Mets in a distant third. However, history may go out the window as 2007 brings the largest influx of Japanese talent to the Majors yet. More and more teams are looking overseas to fill their needs.
If the Dodgers are to re-sign Greg Maddux and the Mariners miss out on Matsuzaka, Igawa seems to be destined for Seattle.