Ryota Igarashi Rumors

Odds & Ends: Nationals, Podsednik, Duchscherer

Links for Monday…

  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that the Nationals still have money left to sign Matt Capps, assuming he wants to go there. Morosi expects Capps to decide on his next team this week.
  • In a separate tweet, Morosi notes that the Tigers are only interested in Scott Podsednik if it's a one-year deal. Detroit has no interest in Rick Ankiel.
  • ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that Justin Duchscherer has received contract offers from three unnamed teams, and he expects to decide on his 2010 home within a week.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Royals are interested in free agent outfielder Brian Anderson on a minor league deal.
  • Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle sees Rajai Davis and Ryan Sweeney retaining starting jobs in the wake of the impending Coco Crisp signing.  Slusser suggests a possible reduced role or trade for Scott HairstonFanGraphs' Dave Cameron doesn't understand the move, noting that Davis and Sweeney are similar to Crisp.  Crisp's physical will take place tomorrow, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney
  • Matthew Carruth of Lookout Landing explains that Mariners fans fully understand the dangers of Milton BradleyThe Seattle Times' Geoff Baker reflects on Carlos Silva's time with the club.
  • Patrick Newman joins FanGraphs with a look at Japanese baseball imports and exports for 2010.  Speaking of which, new Met Ryota Igarashi would like to be Francisco Rodriguez's set-up man.

Mets Sign Ryota Igarashi

8:10pm: Igarashi's two-year deal with the Mets is worth $3MM, tweets NPB Tracker. Given the cost of late-inning arms this offseason (Brandon Lyon, for example), this seems like a solid, low-risk investment for the Mets.

THURSDAY, 3:41pm: The Mets announced the signing of Igarashi, tweets Ken Davidoff of Newsday.  It's a two-year deal, tweets Ed Price of AOL FanHouseESPN's Keith Law gave a scouting report a few days ago, calling Igarashi a "slightly wild power reliever" with a mid-90s fastball and a splitter he can throw for strikes.

8:41pm: Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post tweets that a Mets source has confirmed that the club has indeed signed Igarashi.

WEDNESDAY, 7:55pm: NPB Tracker (via Twitter) passes on a report from Japanese site Sanspo.com that the Mets have "a basic agreement" to sign reliever Ryota Igarashi.  A follow-up tweet translated a comment from Igarashi's agent Arn Tellem, who says that "the fine points of the contract" are still being worked out.

Odds & Ends: Carroll, Crisp, Cameron, Hermida

Links for Wednesday…

  • The Tigers signed lefty Brad Thomas out of Korea, and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that they paid $1MM.
  • Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette confirmed our report of the Pirates' interest in Kelly Johnson, explaining that the Pirates view him as a corner outfield option.
  • FanGraphs' Dave Cameron wonders why teams seem to undervalue Cliff Lee.  In a related story, Lee's agent Darek Braunecker believes their position has been mischaracterized. 
  • ESPN's Buster Olney expects Jamey Carroll to choose between two-year offers from the A's and Dodgers, probably today (I mistakenly wrote the Angels earlier).
  • Mentioned first on Twitter: I've heard that Coco Crisp would prefer a one-year deal with the Padres or A's.
  • Boston's Mike Cameron signing was officially announced today.  Michael Silverman and John Tomase of the Boston Herald have details on the two-year, $15.5MM contract.  John Lackey's deal was also announced.
  • WEEI's Alex Speier says the Red Sox told Jeremy Hermida they'd trade him if they re-signed Jason Bay.  Speier wonders if the Cameron signing will prompt a Hermida deal.
  • The Angels' one-year, $6.5MM deal with Hideki Matsui was also announced, as was John Buck's one-year, $2MM deal with Toronto and Ross Gload's two-year, $2.6MM deal with the Phillies.
  • The Royals put out word they've re-signed outfielder Shane Costa to a minor league deal.  Costa, 28, missed almost the entire '09 season with a leg injury.
  • USA Today's Bob Nightengale tweets details on LaTroy Hawkins' two-year, $7.5MM deal with the Brewers.
  • Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker examines the reports about reliever Ryota Igarashi, who might be headed to the Red Sox or Mets.
  • The Mariners signed 19-year-old shortstop Pedro Okuda to a minor league deal, according to a team press release.  Okuda was born and raised in Brazil but attended high school in Japan.

Mets Near Deal With Ryota Igarashi?

8:42pm: Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post spoke with a Mets official who is still confident the Mets will sign Igarashi. Hubbuch adds that the two sides are "still in talks" and that "nothing is imminent."

4:36pm: Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker points us to a Japanese report that says the Red Sox are the leaders to sign Igarashi. They're apparently willing to offer a two-year deal worth $2-3MM in total.

2:51pmBart Hubbuch of the New York Post confirms that the Mets are in serious talks with Igarashi.

2:07pm: The Mets are close to signing Japanese pitcher Ryota Igarashi to a two-year deal, according to David Waldstein of the New York Times. The 30-year-old righty attracted interest from a number of teams. He'll have the chance to set up Francisco Rodriguez, now that J.J. Putz has signed with the White Sox.

ESPN.com's Keith Law says Igarashi is a "slightly wild power reliever" who will throw 93-96 mph. He recovered from Tommy John surgery to take on a regular workload last season.

Odds & Ends: Sheffield, Matsui, Darvish

Kicking off a fresh Odds & Ends post for Day 3 of the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis…

Odds & Ends: Yanks, Boras, Greinke, Cards

A few more items for Wednesday evening…

  • Chad Jennings of The Journal News thinks the Yankees ought to at least call Toronto about right-handed ace Roy Halladay.  "I have no idea what the asking price might be," writes Jennings, "but Halladay is better than [John] Lackey and he’ll surely cost fewer prospects than Felix Hernandez."
  • As noted by the Boston Globe's Nick Carfado, MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred said Wednesday the revenue sharing figures thrown out by agent Scott Boras during last week's GM meetings "have no basis in reality" and that Boras is living in a "fantasy land."
  • According to Ryo Shinkawa of NPB Tracker, right-hander Ryota Igarashi and left-hander Hisanori Takahashi filed for international free agency on Wednesday.
  • Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star expects Zack Greinke to move on once his contract with the Royals is through.  "The good news is that the team has Greinke under contract three more years," writes Mellinger.  "The bad news is they have a lot of improving to do in that time."
  • Joe Strauss and Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch took to the radio Wednesday afternoon with a few opinions on the Cardinals' offseason plans.  Both feel Matt Holliday is only an average defender and that the Cardinals could be looking to add starting pitching via trade this offseason.

Giants, Pirates Interested In Igarashi

The San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates are among the teams interested in Japanese reliever Ryota Igarashi, according to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker.

Giants GM Brian Sabean says that while Igarashi isn't their main priority, he's someone they're "looking into." Meanwhile, Pittsburgh GM Neil Huntington says that acquiring Akinori Iwamura was a factor in their interest in Igarashi: "In acquiring Iwamura, we opened the door to getting Japanese players. We gave up a middle reliever to get Iwamura, so he [Igarashi] is a player we have interest in."

Igarashi is represented by Arn Tellem and the Wasserman Media Group, which Tim profiled earlier today.

Click here for more information on the 30-year-old reliever.

Igarashi To Pursue MLB Next Season

Patrick Newman at NPB Tracker passes along a report which says that hard-throwing reliever Ryota Igarashi has decided to pursue a Major League contract for 2010. We first learned that Igarashi qualified for international free agency back in June.

The 30-year-old has spent his entire 11-year career with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, posting a 3.25 ERA with 630 strikeouts in 570 IP over 507 appearances. He's hooked on with agent Arn Tellem, who also represents Hideki Matsui. Patrick profiled Igarashi back in May. At 98.75 mph, Igarashi holds the record for the fastest pitch thrown by a Japanese pitcher in a NPB game.

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Igarashi Qualifies For Free Agency

Patrick at NPB Tracker passes along a report saying that righthander Ryota Igarashi has met service time requirements and will qualify for international free agency this offseason. The hard throwing 30-yr old has a 1.48 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP in 24.1 IP of relief for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. Igarashi missed all of 2007 due to Tommy John surgery but pitched well in his return last season. He has closed in the past.

Patrick profiled Igarashi last month, saying that he would be his choice for the top free agent coming out of Japan this offseason. At 98.75 mph, Igarashi holds the record for the fastest pitch thrown by a Japanese pitcher in a NPB game.

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Odds & Ends: Igarashi, Cubs, Cardinals

Links for Friday…