Can the Yanks dish Kei Igawa?

Inside the new stadium
More players shipped to minor league camp

Over at the excellent NPB Tracker, Patrick asks a question we’ve been pondering since 2007: is Kei Igawa movable? We know that the answer is “probably not,” but Patrick gets into a bit more detail. Specifically, he notes the Yanks’ failed efforts to move him back to Japan, including Igawa’s visit to his old club over the off-season. Then there was the Brewers scenario, which didn’t work out. Patrick even notes a humorous tale (told by Igawa himself) of a team that was once interested in Kei: “it seemed like there was a team that saw my (AAA) numbers and tried to acquire me. Then I was told ‘we found out the name, and it was you!'” So yeah, looks like nothing doing on the Igawa front. He’ll head to AAA this off-season, with his only real hope of cracking the majors again relying on injuries and/or ineffectiveness in the bullpen. It’s safe to say that none of us want to imagine such a scenario.

Inside the new stadium
More players shipped to minor league camp
  • Double-J

    I doubt anyone wants to take on his albatross of a contract simply because it would be difficult to justify to a fanbase/team unless it was for a minor-league deal. He’s just so…bad…even though he was the MiLB pitcher of the year, no?

    Meh, keep him in Scranton, there is still a remote possibility he might turn into a trading chip or, dare I say, a body to throw into the bullpen should injury troubles arise.

    • jsbrendog

      albatross of a contract? 4 mill year? are you kidding?

      • Tom Zig

        4 mil a year is chump change for the Yanks. He gets like 2x Jose Molina’s salary.

      • Double-J

        I’m pretty sure just about every theoretical trade is asking for the Yanks to eat a significant portion of the deal. So don’t tell me it’s chump change for most teams if they’re asking the Yanks for the player AND part of his salary.

        5 mil per year for a MiLB-quality pitcher is quite a bit, or so it seems.

  • Stryker

    i kinda feel bad for the guy. did a decent job in japan but got touted as a viable option for the teams who missed out on dice-k. needless to say he hasn’t been up to snuff and now he’s a laughing stock.

  • hal

    The question is how much of his contract is going to get eaten. It could be that the FO has too much pride and don’t want to eat much or more likely, teams are asking for most of his salary to be paid for.

    • anonymous

      He isnt even on the 40 man so why bother doing that?

  • RC

    If they are not going to use him in the majors he is taking up a stop for a prospect. Just cut the guy. Eat the contract. Its only money their the Yankees.

    • steve (different one)

      i don’t see the point in that.

      i think the “taking up someone else’s spot” is a pretty weak argument. i just don’t think it’s a big deal.

      when we have 5 studs knocking down the door in AAA, we’ll be at that point. we’re not at that point.

      • Jamal G

        Seriously, I’d like someone to name any prospect that is being blocked due to Kei Igawa.

        • Mike Pop

          Melvin Croussett.

          • Steve H

            Melvin is blocked by no man.

    • Double-J

      You’ve got to have some bodies to fill in the minor league rosters; it can’t be all raw prospects. Igawa fills that role, and somehow manages to do well in AAA. Too bad that doesn’t translate to the MLB level.

  • Neil

    Just make him the long-man to start the year. He’s had a decent spring and has more upside than Geise, Tomko, or Jason Johnson. Aceves shouldnt be considered for long-man because he needs a little more time at AAA.

    It seems to me that Igawa does betetr when coming out of the bullpen(Remeber that relief appearance against the sox).

    I think that being the long-man will give him enough confidence in his ability to get MLB hitters out. Once he has that confidence then he could potentially compete for the 5th starter spot in 2010.

    • Cor Shep

      1 relief appearance means he’s a better pitcher out of the bullpen? Really?

    • Mike Pop

      He better not be the Yankees fifth starter in 2010.

    • Double-J

      Giese / Aceves / Tomko / Johnson > Igawa (or the Ghost thereof)

    • dan

      He walked 4 guys in 6 innings that game that you’re talking about.

  • pounder

    Lets put him in Gitmo,and then trade him to Al Qeada.

    • Double-J

      Can we get the one-legged dude in the wheelchair? I bet he throws a nasty spitball.

  • MikeD

    Another three years and $12 million remaining on his contract. No team will pick up even a portion of that until Igawa can show an abililty to get MLB hitters out.

    He still should be considered a prospect, although a B-grade one. He did show improvement last year and he does have an ability to miss bats, so maybe if he improves a bit more and can keep the ball down consistently, well, maybe he might make it back as a long-man, or a lefty specialist out of the pen. Yet, even if he accomplish that, no other team will pay $4 million a year for type of player, so he’s still stuck with the Yankees, unless the Yanks wants to eat a good portion of his contract.

    I don’t see the Yankees ever cutting him as long as he’s effective in AAA. As bad as this contract is viewed, imagine if the Yankees outright cut him after the 2009 season. They’ll have committed $46 million ($26 million posting plus the full value of his $20 million contract) for three years of work, and then they’d have to watch some other MLB team pick him up for the MLB minimum and then fear he might actually pitch well enough to stick on some team’s roster.

    • jsbrendog

      kyle farnsworth makes mroe than igawa and i feel is more worthless.

      • Tom Zig

        Not saying Igawa will be good at anything but he has 3 relief appearances in 7+ innings, the numbers are ones that should at least pique your curiosity.

        I know its a very small sample size, but humor me and check out the difference.

  • Steve in MN

    Why all the hate? He’s pitching better than most Yanks so far. I know it’s only a few games and it is spring, but really, with everything that has befallen our SPs the last couple of years, can we ever have too many arms? Why is everyone giving up so fast?

  • Zack

    ““it seemed like there was a team that saw my (AAA) numbers and tried to acquire me. Then I was told ‘we found out the name, and it was you!’” ”

    haha thats horrible

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  • Mike

    I wouldn’t move Igawa until we get at least one good prospect in return, hopefully two.