Japan Notes: Penny, Kawakami

Some news about players who could be playing in the Far East in 2012…

  • Brad Penny is "weighing an opportunity" with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, reports ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.  Penny, 33, missed most of the 2010 season with a shoulder injury but rebounded to pitch 181 2/3 innings in 31 starts with the Tigers last season, though he only managed a 5.30 ERA, an 11 H/9 rate and a 1.19 K/BB ratio.  Crasnick hears from a source that two Major League teams were interested in Penny, but it's not clear if either team actually made Penny an offer.
  • Multiple reports out of Japan say Kenshin Kawakami is close to signing a one-year deal with the Chunichi Dragons (passed on by NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman).  Kawakami starred for Chunichi in the first 11 years of his pro career before signing a three-year, $23MM deal with the Braves before the 2009 season.  Kawakami posted a 4.32 ERA in 50 games for Atlanta (41 of them starts) and spent all of last season in the minors.

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