...as far as a lefty goes, he has a sneaky fastball. I thought he threw, for a lefty, an average to above-average fastball, an above-average changeup, and his slider was a little flat.
Would you pay $26M to negotiate with a pitcher like this? Apparently one team would, and it's (drumroll)....THE YANKEES! That must have caught you off-guard.
Continuing in this offseason's trend of paying Japanese baseball squads ridiculous amounts of money to thieve players overrated just because they're Japanese, the Yankees won the rights to talk to pitcher Kei Igawa. Igawa has a career record of 86-60 with a 3.15 ERA. Not incredibly impressive numbers, certainly nothing you can't find right here in the good ol' US and A, and without, you know, 146 professional games worth of mileage on his arm.
But maybe his game is better suited for the American game? Can't this be possible? Well, he does have experience facing MLB batters. Facing a touring team of major leaguers last month, Igawa was absolutely stellar, giving up a home run to David Wright (who provided the above quote) and walking six batters. Oh. Nevermind.
I can't help but think that this was a reactionary move to the Red Sox winning the rights to talk to Matsuzaka because, you know, they're like little kids fighting for their mom's attention. I thought the Yankees learned their lesson? They're paying $26M just to talk to an above-average pitcher who's probably peaked or, at best, on the top and preparing for a decline. That sure sounds like a bargain. They're prepared to go to war next year with a rotation of Chien-Ming Wang, Mike Mussina, Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano, and Kei Igawa. And they'll lose in the first round of the playoffs. Again. But it's all Joe Torre's fault.