Tadahito Iguchi Rumors
11:09pm: Patrick Newman tells us Japanese reports indicate this is a done deal at about $6MM over three years. Iguchi had solid years in three of his four MLB seasons, banking $11.8MM and snagging a World Series ring (two if his month with the Phillies this year counts).
In other Japanese baseball news, Kyodo reports that lefty Koji Mitsui will stay with the Seibu Lions after he was posted twice and no MLB team made a bid.
According to Kyodo News, the Chiba Lotte Marines made a three-year, 600 million yen (about $6.45MM) offer to free agent second baseman Tadahito Iguchi. It's hard to imagine he'd pass on that for a minor league deal worth less than a million bucks here in the States.
A few rumors from NPB, courtesy of Patrick Newman.
- Lefty reliever Koji Mitsui will be posted again; all 30 MLB teams declined to bid the first time.
- The Chiba Lotte Marines may be prepared to offer Tadahito Iguchi two years and $4.4MM or so. Such a deal would not have been available in the States.
- Remember John Wasdin? He has a one-year deal with the Seibu Lions.
Some odds and ends for a quiet Sunday morning:
- Troy E. Renck notes that after acquiring Jason Marquis, arbitration is going to result in a slight payroll increase of $5MM for the Rockies.
- From Kyodo News: The Lotte Marines will begin talks with Tadahito Iguchi on Wednesday in Okinawa.
- Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe points out that the Red Sox prefer short, low cost, low risk contracts for established talent (i.e. Wade Miller, Bartolo Colon, and now Brad Penny) rather than large free agent contracts for pitchers.
- Keith Law says the Indians got Mark DeRosa for cheap, adding that a ".285/.365/.440 line is well within reason."
Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker has translated a report from Sponichi, a Japanese news network, claiming that infielder Tadahito Iguchi has multiple offers from MLB teams.
Sponichi speculates that the Giants and Royals are nice fits, while Newman himself believes the White Sox might want Iguchi back. Of course, that's all conjecture. A few teams in Japan are legitimately vying for his services. The 34-year-old batted .232/.292/.306 last season with two dingers and 24 RBI in 310 at-bats. It seems most MLB teams could do better.
Some Japanese baseball-related rumors, courtesy of Patrick Newman at NPB Tracker:
- Seven teams have surfaced in Japanese media reports as suitors for free agent amateur pitcher Junichi Tazawa: the Red Sox, Braves, Mariners, Pirates, Tigers, Cubs, and Phillies. David O'Brien of the AJC says the Braves are "legit players" for Tazawa. The Red Sox are seen as the frontrunner, according to Paul Hoynes. Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald agrees that Boston is in the lead, and adds the Marlins to the mix.
- Reliever Hitoki Iwase will remain in Japan. Shortstop Tomohiro Nioka is a free agent, but may not necessarily come to MLB.
- So Taguchi and Tadahito Iguchi may return to Japan for the '09 season.
- Saburo Ohmura is a 32 centerfielder with an eye on MLB. Newman tells me he profiles as more of a fourth outfielder.
Linkage for Thursday...
- Tadahito Iguchi will consider playing in the U.S. or Japan, but he wants a starting job. He hit just .232/.292/.306 in 337 plate appearances, hobbled by a shoulder injury.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman said he does not have any side agreements with any of their free agents to decline arbitration if offered. That would've been nice for Ivan Rodriguez. River Ave. Blues thinks the Yanks should offer arb to Rodriguez, Bobby Abreu, Mike Mussina, and Damaso Marte.
- Sox Machine would like to see the White Sox add a defensive player like Mark Ellis.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders if Larry Bowa would campaign for the Yankees to sign Manny Ramirez, if Bowa joins the Yankees first.
- Tonight could be Jason Varitek's last game as a member of the Red Sox.
- What might've been: the Rockies seriously considered drafting Evan Longoria.
- Murray Chass talked to Barry Bonds' agent, Jeff Borris.
Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times talked to Tadahito Iguchi's agent, who said the Dodgers and Phillies expressed interest in his client.
Iguchi, 33, hit .231/.292/.304 in 330 plate appearances for the Padres - the worst performance of his MLB career. A separated shoulder caused him to miss most of June and all of July. Iguchi earned $4MM for his efforts.
Iguchi picked it up upon a trade to Philly last year, but he's not likely to find as many at-bats this time around. The Dodgers are currently using Blake DeWitt at second base in Jeff Kent's absence.
Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that the Padres released Brett Tomko and Tadahito Iguchi following today's game. The move was made to make room on the 40-man roster for prospects Matt Antonelli and Wade LeBlanc.
Tomko was 2-7 with a 6.30 ERA in 22 appearances (10 starts) this season. Iguchi was hitting .231/.292/.304 in 81 games this season. Tomko signed a 1-year deal prior to the season that paid him $3MM. Iguchi was given a 1-year extension that paid him $3.85MM this season.
Padres rumor guru Tom Krasovic checks in with the latest.
- Why does Tadahito Iguchi love San Diego so much? He passed on far superior offers (and hitter's parks) from the Rockies and Phillies. The Padres have definitely developed a competitive advantage over the years in that guys will make concessions to play there.
- Nine teams have expressed interest in Mark Prior, according to his agent. The Astros are confirmed. The Reds, Rangers, and Phillies are other possibilities. The Padres haven't checked in yet but they are expected to.
- Talks are still ongoing between Mike Cameron and the Padres.