Junichi Tazawa Rumors

Red Sox To Sign Tazawa?

8:41pm: Several Japanese sources report the Red Sox are set to sign Tazawa as early as December 1st, according to Newman.  It seems that Boston did not have the top offer, but Tazawa likes their development plan.

MONDAY, 10:40am: Newman passes along another report that says the Rangers were the fourth team to make an offer to Tazawa, and their offer was the largest.  Jon Daniels won’t confirm or deny it.  Jim Allen recently wrote a scouting report on Tazawa for ESPN.com:

He has good command of his fastball and slurve, but he lacks velocity, stamina and the ability to keep the ball down.  At 22, Tazawa is unlikely to throw much harder than he does now; his fastball barely tops 90 mph when he is rested, and he struggled to hit 88 mph at the end of last season.

SUNDAY, 10:35pm: Newman has more on Boston’s offer to Tazawa, via Sponichi.  Another report from Nikkan Sports says Tazawa has already decided on the Red Sox.

2:01pm: Patrick Newman at NPB Tracker is reporting that Red Sox vice president of international scouting, Craig Shipley, had formal negotiations with Japanese pitcher Junichi Tazawa, which resulted in a $6MM contract offer. No word yet on whether or not it’s a Major League deal.

Current reports state that both the Red Sox, Braves, and Mariners have offered contracts to the 22-year-old right-hander.

Odds and Ends: Halladay, Lopez, Glavine

Links for Monday…

Odds And Ends: Lowell, Vazquez, Tazawa

Links for Saturday…

Odds and Ends: Wade, Crisp, Holliday

Links for Thursday…

Odds and Ends: Tazawa, Boras, Cuban

Links for Tuesday…

Tigers Rumors: Tazawa, Putz

According to Jon Paul Morosi, the Detroit Tigers are interested in Japanese pitcher Junichi Tazawa. Morosi lists the Red Sox, Mariners, Braves and Phillies as other potential suitors for the 22-year-old.

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told Morosi that it’s “too early to tell” whether the club will pursue Tazawa aggresively.

Though Morosi doesn’t think the Tigers have a great chance of signing Tazawa, their chances of signing Japanese players have gone up since they hired Kevin Hooker to co-ordinate their Pacific Rim scouting.

Morosi also wonders whether the Tigers would part with Matt Joyce or Jeff Larish in a deal for J.J. Putz. Earlier this week, Morosi wrote that the Tigers would have to find bullpen help outside the organization.

Odds and Ends: Tazawa, Young, Kouzmanoff

Links for Friday.  As always, I’ll update this post with more stuff so refresh later if you’re interested.

Law’s Latest: Tazawa, Francoeur, Tigers

Here’s a look at the latest blog post from ESPN’s Keith Law.

  • Junichi Tazawa is not free to sign with an MLB team until he finishes a tournament later this month.  Law and David O’Brien report that the Braves have made an offer to Tazawa.
  • Law is also on board with O’Brien’s statement that Jeff Francoeur‘s name has not come up in trade talks.
  • The Indians’ wish list: late inning reliever, an infielder, and a starter.  Paul Hoynes discussed the closer situation this morning.
  • Law says the Tigers do have money to spend this winter.  Yesterday we figured they might have around $14MM to work with.

Braves Rumors: Ludwick, Johnson, Escobar, Francoeur

David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has all kinds of Braves info, found in the body and comments of his latest blog post.

  • The Braves have expressed interest in Ryan Ludwick, and the Cardinals would be willing to take Kelly Johnson or Yunel Escobar in return.  However, the Braves would probably have to include one of their middle infielders in a Jake Peavy deal and don’t want to trade both this winter.
  • Braves GM Frank Wren publicly acknowledged the Peavy trade talks.  O’Brien believes a package built around Escobar has a chance.  Pitching prospect Tommy Hanson is not available.  The Braves don’t have interest in Khalil Greene, by the way.
  • The Braves aren’t looking to sign health risk-starters like Ben Sheets and Brad Penny.
  • The Braves have an eye on the available White Sox veterans: Jermaine Dye, Nick Swisher, and Javier Vazquez.
  • The latest word on Atlanta’s offer to Junichi Tazawa: a $4-5MM signing bonus and a four-year contract, which wouldn’t be counted against ’09 payroll.  Speaking of Tazawa – the Rangers are in on him too.
  • The Braves are not shopping Jeff Francoeur.  His name has not surfaced in trade talks.

Red Sox Rumors: Bay, Tazawa, Kawakami, Lugo

Collecting today’s Red Sox rumors and links…

  • Nick Cafardo says the Red Sox did not meet with C.C. Sabathia‘s agent and he doesn’t appear to be in their plans.
  • The Sox are eyeing southpaw reliever Billy Traber, according to WEEI’s Alex Speier.
  • Scott Boras believes Derek Lowe would be a good fit in Boston or New York.  Nick Cafardo says Lowe would like to return to Boston, maybe even at a slight discount.
  • Jason Bay‘s agents say he’s loving Boston and is open to a contract extension.
  • When asked about the possibility of Manny Ramirez signing with the Yankees, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein basically said it’s not his concern.
  • Otherwise, the theme of Epstein’s comments was flexibility.  Justin Masterson could be a starter or reliever, and Epstein won’t get hung up on acquiring any one player.
  • Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says the Red Sox are heavily involved on Junichi Tazawa, though the Braves and Mariners are after him as well.  The Sox also like Kenshin Kawakami and may have interest in Paul Byrd and Javier Vazquez.
  • Cafardo believes the Mets and White Sox have interest in Julio Lugo.  It would have to be a bad contract swap.  Cafardo adds that the Red Sox view Jacoby Ellsbury as their starting center fielder, and there has been trade interest in Coco Crisp.
  • Boston’s luxury tax threshold for 2009 is $160.5MM.
  • By tomorrow the Red Sox should receive the Jason Varitek book compiled by the Boras corporation.  Boras gave a ridiculous Varitek pitch to the media; click the link for quotes.  Epstein will meet with Boras today to discuss his clients.
  • The Red Sox plan to talk to the Rangers, with Taylor Teagarden, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Gerald Laird as possibilities.  For Teagarden, the Red Sox would probably have to give up Clay Buchholz or Michael Bowden.