Kei Igawa Rumors

Kei Igawa Signs With Orix Buffaloes

Former Yankees left-hander Kei Igawa has signed a two-year deal with the Orix Buffaloes, according to a report from Nikkan sports (Japanese link) which was passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker (via Twitter).  Igawa's deal is worth ¥200M, which is roughly $2.5MM USD.

The Bombers invested a total of $46MM in the Japanese import, paying a $26MM posting fee to his Japanese club and $20MM to the pitcher.  Igawa, now 32, posted a 6.66 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 in 71.2 innings for the Yanks.  The left-hander spent the rest of his Yankees contract pitching in the minors, mostly with the club's Triple-A affiliate.

NPB Rumors: Aoki, Nakajima, Chen, Kuroda, Igawa

Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker has scoured Japanese newspapers for the latest rumors.

  • Yakult center fielder Norichika Aoki has asked to be posted.  Aoki hit .292/.358/.360 in 643 plate appearances in 2011.  Newman wrote last year that Aoki was "the best pure hitter Japan has produced since Ichiro," but that was before his numbers dropped off significantly in 2011.  Despite great range, Newman thought last year that Aoki's weak arm could limit him to left field in MLB.
  • Seibu shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima will again ask to be posted this offseason.  Nakajima was denied that request last winter, though the Orioles and Mariners were reportedly among the interested teams.  The 29-year-old hit .297/.354/.433 with 16 home runs in 633 plate appearances this year.  Newman considered Aoki Japan's second-best hitter in his August 2010 article.
  • Chunichi southpaw Wei-Yin Chen was 50/50 on moving to MLB as of October 26th.  Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports dubbed Chen a "likely free agent" in a report this morning.  The 26-year-old posted a 2.68 ERA, 5.1 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, and 0.49 HR/9 in 164 2/3 innings this year.  He's represented by Alan Nero of Octagon.
  • The Hiroshima Carp have an offer out to Hiroki Kuroda.  Kuroda said he's happy to have received the offer from his former team.  His plans for 2012 remain unknown though.
  • Multiple Japanese teams have interest in Kei Igawa, who reached free agency after his five-year deal with the Yankees expired.  

Yankees Rumors: Adams, Sabathia, Pitchers, Igawa

It's scorching hot in New York, but not as hot as the trade rumor circuit. Here are the latest Yankees' rumors…

  • There's a "big gap" between what the Padres are asking for Mike Adams and what the Yankees are willing to pay, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter). He says a deal is unlikely.
  • In today's Insider-only blog post, Olney writes about CC Sabathia's impending opt-out clause, saying that the exclusive negotiating period between the end of the World Series and the start of free agency will be crucial to the team's efforts to bring back their ace.
  • Bob Klapisch of The Bergen Record says (on Twitter) that the Yankees are still leaning towards not trading for a starter even though Phil Hughes got hit around by the Athletics last night. Their next option is summoning Ivan Nova back from the minors.
  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman told Bill Pennington of The New York Times that he negotiated deals in 2008 and 2009 that would have let Kei Igawa return to Japan, but the lefty refused both times. Cashman also said he was prepared to trade Igawa to the Padres in 2007 after San Diego claimed him off waivers, but "ownership was not willing to let him go yet."

Odds & Ends: Angels, Brewers, Gordon, Romero

Some links to check out while we wait to see if Jon Garland can help the Padres extend their lead in the NL West…

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Felix, Phillies, Reds

Seven years ago today, Ivan Rodriguez signed a one-year deal with the Marlins worth $10MM, ending a 12-year stint with the Texas Rangers. Pudge hit .297/.369/.474 with 16 homers in his lone season with Florida, leading the franchise to its second World Championship. He signed a little earlier this offseason, landing a two-year deal with the Nationals in early December.

Here's a look at what fans around the web are saying….

  • Lookout Landing re-lives five of Felix Hernandez's career-defining starts in honor of his new deal.
  • TAUNTR thinks the Phillies did well by locking up Joe Blanton and Shane Victorino, even if they didn't receive tremendous discounts.
  • Blue Sox Baseball previews the Reds' starting rotation heading into 2010.
  • Goat Riders of the Apocalypse looks at what's left for the Cubs this offseason.
  • TYU wonders why the Yankees used the top pick in the Rule 5 Draft on Jamie Hoffmann instead of John Raynor.
  • Capitol Avenue Club projects the Braves' depth chart.
  • The Ghost of Moonlight Graham examines the rotations in the NL East.
  • TurnTwo has some suggestions for how the Mariners could use the last $10MM left in their budget.
  • Dodgers Rumors considers the Vicente Padilla signing a big win for Los Angeles.
  • reacts harshly to the Bengie Molina deal.
  • River Ave. Blues wonders how the Yanks might be able to extract some value from Kei Igawa.

If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.

Odds & Ends: Delgado, Johnson, Igawa

Some links as Hanley Ramirez celebrates his 26th birthday…

  • The Mets may have reduced interest in Carlos Delgado, according to Marty Noble of The slugger won't start playing baseball in Puerto Rico until mid-January; no reason was given for the delay.
  • The Yankees have about $4MM to spend on a left fielder, according to the New York Daily News.
  • Nick Johnson's deal with the Yankees is official, according to's Brian Hoch.
  • David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution points out (via Twitter) that Troy Glaus will be the Braves' 11th opening day first baseman in 12 seasons if he signs in Atlanta, as expected.
  • Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News says (via Twitter) that the Cubs were willing to take on Kei Igawa's salary (two years, $8MM) before the Yanks acquired Javier Vazquez.
  • Brandon Morrow tells Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times that he hopes to start in Toronto.
  • Dustin Parkes of Drunk Jays Fans says there's no point thinking of Roy Hallladay as a saint, even if he did buy ad space in the Toronto Sun.
  • An unnamed source tells Bill Shaikin of the LA Times that the Dodgers broke even last year. Check out Shaikin's interview with team president Dennis Mannion.
  • The Phillies have been in touch with former Nats reliever Mike MacDougal, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. MacDougal's agent says "a good number" of teams are interested, which is what we heard earlier in the week.

Odds & Ends: Gordon, Uribe, D’backs, Igawa

Links for a busy Wednesday, as writers, agents, and GMs catch their flights out of O'Hare…

Odds & Ends: Hillman, White Sox, Japanese Pitchers

Let's start the evening off by rounding up a few spare links…

  • According to The Associated Press (via ESPN), Royals manager Trey Hillman will return to the team next season. Kansas City GM Dayton Moore, who originally hired Hillman, had his contract extended through 2014 earlier this week.
  • White Sox GM Kenny Williams was asked if the Jim Thome and Jose Contreras trades indicate that he was throwing in the towel according to Scot Gregor of The Daily Herald, and Williams replied "Hell no. We're still in it to win it.”
  • Patrick at NPB Tracker passes along a report saying that the Yokohama BayStars are looking to import Japanese pitchers currently playing in the States. The article mentions that players like Tomo Ohka, Yasuhiko Yabuta, and Masahide Kobayashi could interest the BayStars, while Patrick throws the names of Kei Igawa and Takashi Saito into the ring.
  • ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. writes that Miguel Angel Sano is not the only big name Latin American free agent stuck in age investigation limbo. Venezuelan pitcher Daniel Sanchez, considered one of the best pitchers available this year, is stuck in the same boat after the Brewers put in a formal request to MLB to investigate his age. An age investigation is a prerequisite to signing any player from Latin America.

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Deadline, Rios, Yanks

On this date two years ago, the Yankees and Padres failed to reach an agreement on a trade for Kei Igawa after San Diego claimed the pitcher on waivers. The Yankees also chose not to let Igawa go to the Padres for just the waiver claim. Since then Igawa has made two starts for the Yankees and has spent the entire '09 season in Triple-A. With several teams active in the waiver market this season, let's take a look at what is being written in the Blogosphere…

  • Around the Majors takes a look at how the deadline deals have worked so far.
  • The Blue Jay Hunter looks at what the Alex Rios move could mean for the Jays moving forward.
  • The Sports Bank gives 11 reasons why Alex Rios was a good pick up for the White Sox.
  • A Game Of Inches argues that the White Sox would have been better off acquiring a minor league center fielder.
  • UmpBump makes the case that the Alex Rios move was good for both sides.
  • Josh's Thoughts takes a look at what the acquisition of Alex Rios by the White Sox means for the Twins and the rest of the AL Central.
  • The Pinstriper imagines what the Yankees roster would look like today had they signed Mike Lowell in '07.
  • Jorge Says No! says the Jays still need to move Vernon Wells if they ever want to move forward.

Cork Gaines writes for If you have a suggestion for this feature, Cork can be reached here, and followed on Twitter here.

Odds & Ends: Hamels, Giants, Yankees

Links for Monday…