According to Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun, Orioles president Andy MacPhail "appears to be in serious contention to sign Japanese pitcher Kenshin Kawakami." In another post, Schmuck explains why the Orioles would be pursuing a mid-rotation veteran. Dave O'Brien recently wrote that the Braves are "squarely in the bidding," while the Twins are also in on him. The Mets, Cardinals, and Red Sox are other suitors.
What kind of contract does Kawakami want? The best we have is that "some teams fear" he wants to match Hiroki Kuroda's three-year, $35.3MM deal.
Kawakami, 33, posted a 2.30 ERA and 4.48 K/BB ratio in 117.3 innings this year for the Chunichi Dragons. He missed time with a strained back and was part of a six-man rotation. The CHONE projections call for a 4.13 ERA (neutral park/league) for Kawakami in his MLB debut season.
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