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Igawa cleared by Hanshin to pursue career in majors

TOKYO (AP) -- Japanese pitcher Kei Igawa of the Hanshin Tigers was given permission by his club to pursue a career in the major leagues.

Igawa, who would have had to play in Japan for three more seasons before he could become a free agent, will be posted by the Tigers, team officials said Friday.

Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka of the Seibu Lions and infielder Akinori Iwamura of the Yakult Swallows have already been put up for bid under the same system.

Major league teams can bid to secure the negotiating rights for the Japanese players. After being awarded the negotiating rights for the highest bid, the team has 30 days to sign the player.

Igawa went 14-9 last season with a 2.97 ERA. He struck out 194 to tie Chunichi Dragons right-hander Kenshin Kawakami for the Central League lead, adding to the strikeout titles he won in 2002 and 2004.

I think I would rather take a chance on him than D-Mat if I were to press my luck on any of these Japanese pitchers.
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Matthew Cerrone's Point of View


08:10 AM - News: Another Japanese Pitcher to be Posted



...posted by Matthew Cerrone...

According to the Associated Press, Japanese LHP Kei Igawa of the Hanshin Tigers was given permission to pursue a career in the major leagues. The Tigers will post him on Friday.


Igawa, 27, went 14-9 with a 2.97 ERA last season in Japan. He struck out 194 batters, and lead his league in strikeouts in 2002, 2004 and 2006.


…all the hype has been around Daisuke Matsuzaka, but if you listen to people who have seen both of these guys pitch, they will always follow up by saying igawa could end up being just as effective as matsuzaka and be had for half the cost…it should also be noted, though, that i have also heard people say he has Kaz Ishii written all over him, while matsuzaka seems to get nothing but praise…so, who knows…


…the buzz from japan has been that while matsuzaka would like to play in new york, igawa prefers to pitch on the west coast…or a warm client, like atlanta, who has said to be interested…


…the ap’s headline, by the way, is, “bid-ness as usual,” which made me laugh…

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