Even Japan doesn’t want Kei Igawa back

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In 2006, Japan stunned the international baseball community when they claimed the WBC title. They’re back with a vengeance to defend their crown, and while many players — the pitchers especially — view this tournament as a potential audition for the U.S. Major Leagues, the Land of the Rising Sun is mostly concerned with capture another title. While the rehabbing Hideki Matsui won’t play in the tournament, he is wanted for it. His fellow Japanese Yankee isn’t so lucky. When asked about Kei Igawa’s omission from the team, one of the Japanese reporters assigned to the team said “They think he is not so good.” I don’t think Brian Cashman is going to voice much objection to those sentiments. (Hat tip to PeteAbe for this amusing anecdote.)

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  • Joe R

    The reporter covering Matsui said that, not Matsui himself.

    “One of the Japanese reporters in Tampa covering Hideki Matsui was asked why Igawa was not considered for the WBC roster.”

  • jsbrendog

    poor guy. seriously. and he looks like a cartoon character on top of it all

  • http://newstadiuminsider.com Ross

    Matsui didn’t say that – the reporter did. Lets not spread false information about the porn man.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      It was already fixed well before this post.

      • http://newstadiuminsider.com Ross

        It must have been fixed between the time I read it and the time I clicked to post the comment. Good fix by the way – well done!

  • PB

    >>The reporter covering Matsui said that, not Matsui himself.

    What does it matter who said it? He is only stating the obvious.

  • pat

    Poor kei igawa only making millions of dollars a year.

  • Mattingly’s Love Child

    Cash must see that Igawa is a sunk cost. With all of the young pitching prospects coming up through the system, wouldn’t it be better to release Igawa? That would give someone like Eric Hacker or George Kontos a chance to start regularly in AAA. I don’t see Igawa having much trade value to anyone. It appears no one will give Cashman even a bag of balls for this guy!

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Yeah, but the problem with just releasing Igawa is that we’re still on the hook for his salary, but he’s free to pitch elsewhere, like for a competitor. So, basically, we’d be paying him to pitch for somebody else and beat us, which is a bad business mode—

      —HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH, oh, I tried to get through that with a straight face, but I just couldn’t. Seriously, yeah, we should just cut him.

      • Mattingly’s Love Child

        Yeah, for a second I was wondering what you were smoking.

  • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

    They could just send Igawa to AA or even lower. Imagine Igawa getting roughed up by 20year olds in Charleston, that would be fun.

  • My Geass Makes You My Slave

    How is Igawa faring in the minors btw?

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      He was actually pretty good at Scranton last year:

      14-6, 156.1 IP, 141 H, 45 BB, 117 K, 3.45 ERA, 1.19 WHIP

      • jsbrendog

        he was aaa pitcher of the year wasnt he?

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          I believe he was.

    • Steve H

      He’d win 15 in the NL.

      • My Geass Makes You My Slave

        He’d do good in the NL West. But I doubt any team would actually want him…

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          The Padres showed some interest at some point–don’t know what happened to that, though.

          • My Geass Makes You My Slave

            It might be his salary. 4M is too much for the guy. Look at Wang, he’s making like 5.5M this year! So the Yankees overpay players that are bad or players with risk but underpay better ones? In all respects Wang should get like at least a 10 mil contract. Well I doubt we’d have trouble getting him off our hands if his contract was like 500K or something.

            • My Geass Makes You My Slave

              Him being Igawa btw

            • steve (different one)

              with all due respect, your comments about Wang are complete nonsense (hey, i said with all due respect).

              you are comparing apples to oranges.

              i’m not going to get into the why, b/c to be honest, i don’t know how everyone doesn’t understand how the process works at this point, but just know that Wang and Igawa have absolutely nothing in common.

              • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                The number of Yankee fans comparing Wang and his arbitration-reduced salary to that of free agents on the open market this winter has been annoying.

                People need to remember the difference between a pitcher with 4 years of service time and a pitcher with 10 years of service time before they start complaining about people being overpaid or underpaid.

                • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                  A lot of it has to do with the idiocy of places like ESPN.com. Shortly after we negotiated this year’s contract with CMW, they ran a poll that asked:

                  Will the Yankees re-sign Wang in 2010?

                  /facepalm

                  Its always fun when major media outlets deliberately try to manipulate the perception of the Yankees and their players, isn’t it?

                • Steve H

                  Tim Lincecum just signed with the Giants for $650k. Where was Cash!? Can’t believe the Yankees would pay so much for Igawa and not sign Lincecum for less than $1 mil. Cash is teh suxor

              • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                With all due respect, your sister’s a whore. Now, I say that with all due respect…but she’s a whore.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Lloyd: Man, you are one pathetic loser! No offense.
                  Harry: Oh, no, none taken.

              • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                i don’t know how everyone doesn’t understand how the process works at this point, but just know that Wang and Igawa have absolutely nothing in common.

                Except for the fact that they’re both CHINESE, my friend!

                Q.E.D.

            • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

              Kei Igawa was a free agent (basically), while Chien-Ming Wang is arbitration eligible and coming off of a half-season due to injury. That’s why CMW is “only” making $1.5M more this year. If Wanger was a free agent, he’d have made AJ Burnett money.

          • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

            Igawa for a Swinging Friar mascot mask.

          • pat

            Padres wanted the yanks to pick up the tab.

            • http://www.wiredtowns.com Short Porch

              In this economy, expect a lot of salary dump trades this summer. Igawa may well be dumped for someone yet more expensive, but someone who suddenly became a valuable commodity for the Yankw due to injury or poor performance — I’m looking at you, center field! I’d love for them to take a run at Ichiro for instance.

              Igawa needs an NL pitcher’s park. SD best fit. LA? Joe, what would you say to that knowing what you know?

              • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                I’m sorry, but I would not want an aging Ichiro and 3 1/2 years worth of his $17M annual salary unless the Mariners picked up around 50% of the tab. We have 2 placeholder guys until AJax is ready, and AJax could be a league-average, cheap CF option for the next several years. While in a vacuum, yeah, Ichiro is easily the best option (even in his mid 30s, he’ll still be reliably above-average for the remainder of his contract), his massive salary makes him much less appealing.

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                  Bingo.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Ichiro has a career wOBA of .355. He’s being paid like a guy with a career wOBA of .405.

                • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                  In fairness to Ichiro, his salary isn’t quite as ridiculous as one may think in the context of it being for the Seattle Mariners, since he brings them a massive amount of publicity. That’s a moot point for a team like the Yanks though, who already has a large Asian audience due to guys like Godzilla and Wang.

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                  I’ve always said Ichiro was overrated. Everyone always laughs at me. It’s quite annoying. I love how analysts always say “If Ichiro wanted to, he could hit 30 homers a year.” If he could, why the hell doesn’t he? Does he not realize 30 homers are probably gonna end up being more valuable than all his slap hit singles? For fuck’s sake, he only averages 42 XBH per 162 games. He does make up for it with stealing and not getting caught (81% for his career) but if he could hit 30 homers, why the hell doesnt he?

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                  Speaking of Godzilla, where do you guys think he’ll end up in 2010 and beyond?

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Speaking of Godzilla, where do you guys think he’ll end up in 2010 and beyond?

                  Sitting on his couch, watching porn.

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                  So no different than now? Got it.

                • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                  Definitely in the AL, unless The Cubs feel like pulling another Milton Bradley. DH for the Mariners maybe?

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                  Yeah, I think that sounds about right.

                  I’m interested to see how Bradley does. He’s a great hitter–was the best in Texas last year– and they got him on a great deal, but the dude just can’t stay healthy.

                • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                  He also might just head back over to Japan and end his career there. He’s made good money and will have won the world series this year, so he may just feel like being treated like a God(zilla) back in his homeland until he’s ready to call it quits. I hope he makes the trip for Old Timer’s day when the time comes though.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  “I’m interested to see how Bradley does. He’s a great hitter–was the best in Texas last year moderately above average hitter drastically inflated by Arlington park effects, as evidenced by his home/road splits and the 2008 deviation from his career norms – and they got him on a great deal bad deal they’ll probably soon regret, but the dude just can’t stay healthy.”

                  Fixed.

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                  There were some drastic differences away from Arlington but he still posted good numbers outside of Texas: .290/.410/.462/.872.

                  Compare that to Hamilton: .263/.331/.448/.779

                  Kinsler actually slugged more out of Arlington. Odd.

                • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                  In the 8 or 9 seasons Milton Bradley has been in the majors, he’s only played more than 100 games 3 times. If we exclude his 2000 season (which I’m guessing was a call-up), he’s averages about 339 ABs a year.

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                  Yeah, that’s the big problem with him.

                  TSJC: it’s also worth nothing that Wrigley had a one year park factor of 104 last season and has a multi-year factor of 106 for hitters. So, he’s going from one hitter’s park to another.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  True. I still think Bradley’s like Ichiro, in that the Cubs and Mariners are paying them 10M and 17M respectively, and they’ll probably get 5M and 10M worth of production out of them, respectively.

                  The Bradley contract wasn’t an Ibanez-level disaster, but it was still bad. Both the Phils and the Cubs could have had better players for less dollars.

                • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                  In hindsight, you know what was an Ibanez-level disaster? Edgar Renteria. He very well may have cost the Giants the ability to sign ManRam. Or at the very least, they could’ve gotten Renteria for maybe 30% of what they signed him, or spent that money to get a combination of one of the Orlandos and Abreu and still had cash left over.

          • Mattingly’s Love Child

            Even if you pay his salary for him to pitch for someone else, nobody is going to want him. The Padres are rebuilding so I’d assume they don’t want a never-been (not even a has-been). Joe Torre is managing the Dodgers and he is very familiar with just how crappy Igawa is. The Giants got 6 pitchers for 5 spots, while the Rockies and Diamondbacks play in stadiums that don’t really work well for Igawa. I won’t get started on the NL Central, but again, a lot of no’s.

            Teams have seemed to have wisened-up this year. Whatever deal Cash had for him with the Padres last summer he should have taken. Even if it was for someone terrible, like Tony Gwynn’s spare tire.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              It was probably for Matt Bush.

              • Mattingly’s Love Child

                Does Matt Bush still have a pulse? Sold!

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  HE’S MATT (expletive deleted) BUSH!!!! HE’S FROM (expletive deleted) EAST COUNTY!!!!

                  OF COURSE HE’S GOT A PULSE!!!!!

            • jsbrendog

              in coors igawa would be like wild thing vaugh in major league, the ball would sail right over torrealba’s head

              • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                in coors igawa would be like wild thing vaugh in major league, the ball would sail right over torrealba’s Iannetta’s head

                Fixed.

  • http://www.wiredtowns.com Short Porch

    Come On! There must be a slightly less crappy contract we can pick up for him in exchange. I see the Knicks doing this all the time now.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Maybe we can trade Igawa to the Bucks for Luke Ridnour.

      • jsbrendog

        sign van horn out of retirement again and send igawa to the nets for his expiring prorated contract

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    If he could just learn to keep the ball down, he could be a passable major leaguer. But then again IF my aunt had a dick she would be uncle and my uncle would be gay. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    • steve (different one)

      IETC

      • jsbrendog

        agreed. hahahaha

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Perhaps they should have Igawa shadow Melvin Croussett. That would have O-Kei straightened out in a week.

      Melvin makes other players great by osmosis.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        Actually, Melvin’s mechanics are so flawless that when pitchers watch him throw, they know that they have just witnessed perfection. Much like when Bob Beamon made his historic jump in Mexico City. Beamon was never the same jumper again, because he knew that he had accomplished perfection. Melvin is perfect everyday, so he knows how to live with the burden of perfection. Everyone else who watches him are unable to wrap their minds around it.

        • jsbrendog

          soooooooooo if igawa watches melvin throw and his head explodes, do we get to collect the insurance??

          • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

            That’s probably the ideal outcome.

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

            Why don’t we just do the easy thing and get Rocco Lampone to kill him?

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              We could give Howie Spira a call and have him “take care of him”. And send his family a Koi fish wrapped in newspaper.

              Kei Igawa sleeps with the sushi.

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