Trade Rumors Apps
- Padres, Rays, Nationals Agree To Wil Myers Trade
- Royals To Sign Edinson Volquez
- Indians Sign Gavin Floyd
- Angels, Rays Swap Kevin Jepsen, Matt Joyce
- Marlins To Sign Michael Morse
- Royals To Sign Alex Rios
- Dodgers To Sign Brett Anderson
- Yankees Sign Chase Headley
- Astros Sign Jed Lowrie
- White Sox To Sign Melky Cabrera
- Red Sox Acquire Wade Miley
- Twins Sign Ervin Santana
- Red Sox Sign Justin Masterson
- Marlins Acquire Mat Latos From Reds
- Tigers, Red Sox Swap Porcello For Cespedes
- Non-Tender Tracker
- Non-Tender Candidates
- 2014-15 Top 50 Free Agents With Predictions
- Trade Rumors iOS App
- Trade Rumors Android App
- MLBTR Podcast
- 2014-15 MLB Free Agent Tracker
- 2015 MLB Free Agent List
- 2014-15 Offseason Outlooks
- 2014-15 Free Agent Profiles
- 2015 Arbitration Tracker
- Projected Arbitration Salaries For 2015
- Free Agent Contest Leaderboard
- Reverse Standings
- 2016 MLB Free Agent List
- Transaction Tracker
- DFA Tracker
- Agency Database
- Hot Stove Glossary
- MLBTR On Facebook
- MLBTR On Twitter
- MLBTR Mobile
- MLBTR On Kindle
- Team Twitter/RSS Feeds
- Team Facebook Pages
- Hoops Rumors
- Pro Football Rumors
- Cardinals Sign Mark Reynolds
- $400K NFL Contest At DraftKings
- Quick Hits: Braves, Ross, Cabrera, Kang, Aoki
- Reactions To US Move To Reestablish Relations With Cuba
- Reactions To The Wil Myers Trade
- Minor Moves: Tuiasosopo, Beal, Partch
- Padres To Acquire Matt Kemp
- AL Notes: Hamilton, Cabrera, Toritani
- Athletics Designate Jorge De Leon
- Padres Likely To Keep Trading, Could Deal Seth Smith
- Padres, Rays, Nationals Agree To Deal Centered Around Wil Myers
- Marlins, Braves, Giants Interested In Jake Peavy
- David Hernandez, Diamondbacks Avoid Arbitration
- Royals To Sign Edinson Volquez
- Padres, Rays, Nationals Nearing Agreement On 3-Team Deal
MLBTR Mailing List
Rumors by team
- Angels Rumors
- Astros Rumors
- Athletics Rumors
- Blue Jays Rumors
- Braves Rumors
- Brewers Rumors
- Cardinals Rumors
- Cubs Rumors
- Diamondbacks Rumors
- Dodgers Rumors
- Giants Rumors
- Indians Rumors
- Mariners Rumors
- Marlins Rumors
- Mets Rumors
- Nationals Rumors
- Orioles Rumors
- Padres Rumors
- Phillies Rumors
- Pirates Rumors
- Rangers Rumors
- Rays Rumors
- Red Sox Rumors
- Reds Rumors
- Rockies Rumors
- Royals Rumors
- Tigers Rumors
- Twins Rumors
- White Sox Rumors
- Yankees Rumors
Kazumi Saito Rumors
Here are some interesting links to peruse when you get the chance…
- Alyson Footer believes the Astros and Jason Jennings are not interested in each other.
- Kazumi Saito will have surgery on his rotator cuff today. He’s a Mark Prior type, a tantalizing talent who can’t stay healthy. Doesn’t seem like he’ll be posted anytime soon.
- In case you missed it earlier, MLBTR now has a Facebook page and group. Become a fan on the page, join the group, friend me, and spread the good word of MLBTR to those who don’t read it.
- Funny look at the types of signs fans hold up at games, courtesy of Joe Sports Fan.
- I did an interview over at We Should Be GMs.
By my count there are five Japanese pitchers who stand a good chance of jumping over to MLB for the 2008 season. I asked Aaron Shinsano and Jackson Broder of East Windup Chronicle to rank them for us and write a short description for each. Another knowledgable friend, Tak Iwanaga, also added some info below.
1. Hitoki Iwase – Iwase was on the hill for the tail end of last night’s perfect game, the Japan Series clinching victory for the Chunichi Dragons. The lefty closer has 40+ saves three years running with a career 1.91 ERA. Tops out at around 93 MPH, but has arguably the best slider in Japan. He’s starting to lose movement and velocity on his pitches, but is making up for it with very good control. A nice fit for the Okajima fetishist.
2. Kenshin Kawakami – Japan’s highest paid starter for the champion Chunichi Dragons (he made around $3MM) mixes a fastball, cutter, and curveball. His fastball runs around 87 and his curve is very slow. He’s known as a big game pitcher and always challenges hitters. He was 12-8 with a 3.55 ERA in 2007, but the K/BB ratio was an appealing 6.3 in 167 2/3 IP. He’s a HR prone strikeout pitcher. Kawakami has been healthy for the past four seasons.
3. Hiroki Kuroda – One number to remember here: 300, as in 300 feet to left and 300 feet to right. That’s the stadium Kuroda spent 10 years in, and still he managed to post a sub-2.00 ERA in 2006 and go 13-6. What could he do in Petco with 67 extra feet to left to play with? Tak says that at the least, he’s an innings eater.
4. Kazumi Saito – Before Dice-K made his way to Boston, it was Hanshin’s Saito, not Matsuzaka that was regarded as the top starter in Japanese baseball. He’s won the Sawamura award three times, and when healthy puts up absurd numbers and gaudy K totals. His 2006 line for the Fukuoka Hawks–18-5, 205 K’s in 201 IP, a 1.75 ERA–is the stuff of fictional video game characters. Saito employs a big time leg kick, mixing up a forkball, cutter, and nasty hammer in with his mid 90’s fastball.
Unfortunately for Saito and the many MLB suitors bandying his name about, he has been dealing with a chronic Prior-esque shoulder injury that could (and should) be a concern for squads ready to drop big coin on a Japanese starter. Saito’s numbers when healthy were good this year as he battled back from injury: 6-3, 2.74, 71 K’s in 72 1/3 IP, but are teams going to post a $30 million posting fee and $10 mil a year for a starter with shoulder issues? Boom or bust.
5. Masahide Kobayashi – Lost seven games and ERA rose nearly a point in 2007, but that shouldn’t deter teams from pursuing this 200+ save closer for Chiba Lotte. Throws from the stretch, and has that deceptive delivery that scouts seem to like these days. Has a great forkball that often tails in toward the batter. Not as good as Iwase or Koji Uehara, but might just be an upgrade over, say, The Farns. Tak adds that he was dropped to the "minors" at the end of the season and many feel his velocity and control are slipping.
SNY’s Ted Berg has an informative blog post about Japanese pitchers who may come over to MLB for the 2008 season (found via MetsBlog). Berg discusses the situations of Koji Uehara, Hiroki Kuroda, Kenshin Kawakami, Hitoki Iwase, Masahide Kobayashi, and Kazumi Saito.