Kei Igawa Rumors
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.
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.
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."
Some links to check out while we wait to see if Jon Garland can help the Padres extend their lead in the NL West...
- Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com reports that the Angels may take their time in trading for a first baseman, both to save money and to determine if they need to make a big pickup.
- Brewers' first-round pick Dylan Covey is looking for a $2MM signing bonus, which Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes is about $300K higher than MLB's slotted bonus price for a 14th overall selection.
- Haudricourt also reports that Milwaukee's first two picks from the 2009 Amateur Draft (26th overall right-hander Eric Arnett and 39th overall outfielder Kentrail Davis) have both been sent down a level. Arnett posted a 6.87 ERA in 12 starts at the low-A level and is moving down to rookie ball, while Davis goes from high-A to low-A.
- Royals manager Ned Yost tells MLB.com's Dick Kaegel that in spite of Alex Gordon's success at Triple-A, Gordon won't be called back up to the majors until Kansas City can find an everyday space for him.
- Five teams have an interest in outfielder Wilmer Romero in advance of the international signing period opening on July 2, tweets Melissa Segura of Sports Illustrated.
- Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette thinks the Pirates could spend around $10.5MM to sign their draft class since they "need, and want, to flood...their system with talent."
- The already pitching-rich Braves have "the most talented rotation in the minors" at Advanced-A Myrtle Beach, according to Fangraphs' Marc Hulet.
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson sees Washington pursuing a pitcher and a hitter at the trade deadline, and answers a number of hot stove-related questions in a fan mailbag.
- Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times says that the Dodgers haven't made any progress towards acquiring Cliff Lee and are balking at the money left on Roy Oswalt's contract.
- Meanwhile, Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times says the Angels could have Paul Konerko today, if they wanted. He adds that if they do make a trade, they might be better off targeting a third baseman.
- A Mets' official indicated that the team won't discuss an extension with Rod Barajas until after the season, tweets Newsday's David Lennon.
- Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe tweets that Ted Lilly was "begging" the Yankees to sign him before the 2007, but they went for Kei Igawa instead.
- Paul Hagen of The Philadelphia Daily News says the Phillies shouldn't expect a trade deadline boost this year because of a depleted farm system beyond Domonic Brown and close to $140MM in salary commitments for 2011.
- Richard Justice of The Houston Chronicle says it might not be until July that the Astros decide to "blow up the roster and start over."
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports looks at nine starting pitchers who will be on the market this summer, led by Lee.
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.
- AdamAdkins.net 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.
Some links as Hanley Ramirez celebrates his 26th birthday...
- The Mets may have reduced interest in Carlos Delgado, according to Marty Noble of MLB.com. 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 MLB.com'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.
Links for a busy Wednesday, as writers, agents, and GMs catch their flights out of O'Hare...
- Welcome to Twitter: ESPN's Buster Olney.
- ESPN's Keith Law assesses the Mark Teahen, J.J. Hardy, Jeremy Hermida, and Akinori Iwamura trades.
- The Royals are committed to Alex Gordon as their third baseman despite acquiring Josh Fields, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Fields instead could play left field in the event David DeJesus is traded. DeJesus' name popped up in our left field trade market post.
- Rosenthal and Morosi also note that the Giants are talking with Juan Uribe about a new contract. Uribe was one of the year's best minor league deals. He's represented by Barry Praver.
- Rosenthal reported yesterday that the Nationals hired Bryan Minnitti from the Pirates to be their new assistant GM. Jake from New Bucs interviewed the young exec last year.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic names four relievers who might be of interest to the Diamondbacks: Rafael Betancourt, Mike Gonzalez, LaTroy Hawkins, and Bob Howry.
- Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues has a reality check for fans as we head toward the offseason insanity.
- Victor Martinez's agent Alan Nero told WEEI's Rob Bradford there's been "little or no dialogue" in terms of the Red Sox extending his client.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders if the Yankees' championship might enable them to take things more slowly this winter.
- Sherman tweets that there is interest in Japan from Kei Igawa, but he doesn't want to go. Igawa posted a 4.15 ERA in 145.3 Triple A innings this year, and still has $8MM remaining on his contract.
- Baseball America's Matt Eddy has your minor league transactions. Wilson Valdez and Mike Gosling are among those joining the free agent ranks.
- New Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos seems passionate, talking to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun. Anthopoulos even gives props to the fine Jays blogs out there.
- Padres pitcher Chris Young told Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune that he understands the business aspect of baseball. With a healthy first half, Young could be a trade candidate.
- Grant at McCovey Chronicles says AT&T Park isn't a pitcher's park anymore, and agents know that.
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.
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.
Links for Monday...
- Cole Hamels is flying to Philadelphia to have his sore left elbow examined. Hamels threw 3,914 pitches in total last year, the most in baseball (two more than C.C. Sabathia). Hamels thinks he's fine and it's not a big deal.
- Julian Tavarez on why he chose the Nationals.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says the Marlins returned Rule 5 lefty Zach Kroenke to the Yankees.
- Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball looks at postseason ticket revenue over the last decade.
- Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury News talked to John Dewan about the Giants' defense.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes about the fraternity in the Yankees' revamped rotation.
- Athletics Nation talked to Jason Giambi, who was very close to re-signing with the A's before he signed with the Yankees.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker asks if Yankees starter Kei Igawa, owed $12MM over the next three years, is movable.