10:38am: According to The Atlanta Journal Constitution's Dave O'Brien (Twitter link), Wren responded "We've had a number of discussions over the last couple of weeks. I'll leave it at that," when asked about potentially trading Kawakami or selling him to a Japanese club.
9:01am: The Braves have outrighted Kenshin Kawakami to Double-A Mississippi, reports MLB.com's Mark Bowman. The move gets Kawakami off the team's 40-man roster, though they are still on the hook for his $6.67MM salary for 2011.
The 35-year-old right-hander was solid during his first year with Atlanta, posting a 3.86 ERA with 6.0 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 0.9 HR/9 in 156.1 innings in 2009. Things fell apart last season despite similar peripheral stats (6.1 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 1.0 HR/9), as he put up a 5.15 ERA in 87.1 innings and was at one point sent to the minors. Kawakami signed a three-year deal worth $23MM in January 2009 after spending more than a decade with the Chunichi Dragons.
Last month we heard that several Japanese teams were not only interested in acquiring Kawakami, they were also willing to take on some of his salary. So far GM Frank Wren's attempts to move him have proven unsuccessful.