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Cubs Could Settle For Kei Igawa

A week ago for my Top 50 Free Agents list, I ranked lefty Kei Igawa 24th overall and had this to say:

"The Cubs have a clear need for a starter or two, and an increased focus on scouting Japan could lead to Jim Hendry to Igawa.  Only one team can get Matsuzaka, after all.  Igawa would be a fine consolation prize."


With the winning Matsuzaka bid likely to exceed $30MM, it appears that my speculation could become reality.  After reading some scouting reports on Igawa, though, I wonder if I ranked him too high.  Keith Law ranked him 31st, noting a below average fastball that sets up his plus curve. 

With Igawa, the Cubs' rotation would look something like this:

Carlos Zambrano
Free Agent
Rich Hill
Kei Igawa
Wade Miller/Mark Prior

Relying on the oft-injured Miller/Prior combo for the fifth starter spot could be workable, if the Cubs get a big fish to be the #2 starter.  That could be Vicente Padilla or Randy Wolf in my mind.  Padilla shares an agent with Aramis Ramirez and Jim Hendry has discussed the possibility.


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