Nov 28, 2006

Japanese tidbits

- So the Sawx have made a formal offer ( to Daisuke Matsuzaka and (his agent) Scott Boras. However, they seem to be pretty far apart right now. But apparently, SeibuMatsuzaka's NPB team) can reduce the bid amount to help 'facilitate' a contract... What kind of bullshit is this?! If I'd known this, I would have wanted the Yanks to bid $100 million...

- Update: MLB says the Sawx can't do this. But it's only illegal if you get caught...

- In other Japanese related news, the Yanks have won the bidding to Kei Igawa, the 2nd best Japanese pitcher on the market for a very high bid of $25 million. His numbers aren't much worse than Matsuzaka's, but he pitches in the NL of the NPB (meaning the pitcher hits in his league). I like that he's a lefty, who will balance out the rotation once Randy leaves - Wang, Moose, Hughes, Sanchez, Pavano, Karstens, Clippard, Rasner, Joba, and Kennedy are all righties. It's strange that the Yanks would bid only $5 million less for Igawa than Matsuzaka, but it was after the 'market was set' with the Sawx bid (if you believe in over-paying, even for market value). He does have an MVP and Cy Young award to his credit (both in 2003), and 3 strikeout titles ('02, '04, '06). My (brief) scouting report: a deceptive 87-92 mph fb, a very good change, a very good (Zito-esque) curve, and a decent slider.

Career: 3.15 era, 9.5 k/9 ip, 3 k/bb, .8 HR/9 ip, 1.26 whip
2006: 2.97 era, 8.4 k/9 ip, 3 k/bb, .7 HR/9 ip, 1.12 whip

Compared to Matsuzaka.
Career: 2.95 era, 8.7 k/9 ip, 2.7 k/bb, .7 HR/9 ip, 1.18 whip
2006: 2.13 era, 9.7 k/9 ip, 5.9 k/bb, .6 HR/9 ip, .94 whip

David Wright, Jose Reyes and Jermaine Dye faced Igawa in Japan and gave their reviews.

Stats - video one, two, three, four, five

Mike Plugh (Japanese baseball expert) will be doing his own analysis soon. Stay tuned to his blog. He links to an excellent scouting report. It says he should be a solid 4th starter, with occasional dominant games.

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