• Kei Igawa’s Done

    Posted by on December 18th, 2006 · Comments (34)

    From The Daily Yomiuri

    The New York Yankees and Kei Igawa both played second fiddle in the posting sweepstakes. Igawa, though, got a first-rate deal it was learned on Monday, agreeing to a five-year, 20 million dollars contract with the Bronx Bombers.

    The Yanks earned the right to negotiate with Igawa in late November and wasted little time getting the southpaw in pinstripes.

    The deal for the 27-year-old, who was 14-9 this past season with a 2.97 ERA for the Hanshin Tigers, also includes incentives.

    Negotiations were smooth thanks Igawa’s agent, Arn Tellem, who has strong ties with the Yankees. Talks opened on Nov. 29 and Tellem made it clear that Igawa wanted a long-term deal.

    I expect him to wear # 29 in New York.

    Let’s hope he’s more like Catfish Hunter than he is Bob Shirley – two other # 29’s for the Yankees.

    Comments on Kei Igawa’s Done

    1. Chewbacca
      December 18th, 2006 | 3:18 pm

      Hearing that he is a change of pace pitcher, and that he understands how use his changeup and other pitches effectively, maybe he can be like a Jamie Moyer.

      I know Moyer has had a good lengthy career, but Steve, with your analysis of statistics, would a Jamie Moyer be average/above average? What’s your take?

    2. Chewbacca
      December 18th, 2006 | 3:20 pm

      Maybe Kei can get the “key” to the city after leading us to a World Series. And then he can wipe his feet on “D-Mat” or on the “D(oor)-Mat.”

    3. December 18th, 2006 | 3:28 pm

      Moyer has 92 career RSAA. So, he’s been above average, on the whole.

    4. #15
      December 18th, 2006 | 4:15 pm

      Okay, now it’s time to move Pavano or Johnson. We’ve got enough 4’s and 5’s and promising young pitchers to get through the season, even with an injury or two. A first baseman (RJ for Sexson will work) and a back-up catcher (a young, highly rated AAA prospect will do), are the top priorities, but a decent middle reliever/set-up guy +/- some cash would work as well. If RJ wants out, I’ll bet he’ll be willing to defer some money. If Gil Meche is worth 10MM/year, someone will be willing to take Pavano if we pick up a few MM/year.

      On the other topics…

      Time to sign Miggy as the “ute”. I’m slightly in favor of trading Melky. Not that I don’t like the guy or his game, but the 4th outfielder (last season not withstanding) won’t have too much impact on the overall teams performance. Our starting three all have been durable over their careers. Melky’s probably looking at two years in that supporting role. If they can’t get the right deal, I’m fully happy to keep Melky. Say good night Bernie, and enjoy your well earned retirement as a beloved Yankee. The 5th outfielder only needs to be able to run (like the wind), catch and throw. Any hitting will be a bonus. Get these done and we’ll have had a very successful off season.

      BTW… Didn’t take long for JD Drew to show up on the disabled list, did it?

    5. baileywalk
      December 18th, 2006 | 4:51 pm

      Isn’t there anyone better in the world than Cairo? Good Lord, when a team has a 200-million-dollar payroll, you have to have better insurance in case of injury that a guy who brings a .280 on-base to the table.

      Something tells me that NL pitchers probably had a better SLG than Cairo’s .320.

      I don’t know why the Yankees are always so kneejerk about decisions like this. They like Cairo in the clubhouse, they think he’s a good guy, so instead of looking around they just re-sign him.

      Cairo is a useless hitter. And since Torre loves him and is basically a madman, he will say things like “I need to get Cairo in the game at least once a week” — at the expense of his 23-year-old All-Star second baseman. Smart!

      Cashman has to create a team Torre can’t foul up with bizarre usages. That means someone that can hit… justalittle.

      And what’s up with Toby Hall telling us to kiss off and then signing to be the backup in Chicago?

    6. Chewbacca
      December 18th, 2006 | 4:54 pm

      Notice how the Red Sox waited until D-Mat was signed to bring up their questions about Drew’s health in order to reduce his guaranteed money. Now they can give little old Boras a double penetration screwing.

    7. December 18th, 2006 | 4:56 pm

      I have no problem with a good glove, good wheels, bad stick, back-up infielder. Cano, Jeter, and A-Rod are all good for 150 games. That means Miggy should play in about 36 games with 120 PA. How much can his stick hurt you in 120 PA?

    8. December 18th, 2006 | 4:58 pm

      Chewbacca – please, it’s a family friendly site. At least most of the time.

    9. Chewbacca
      December 18th, 2006 | 5:18 pm

      Absolutely, Steve. My apologies, I do not want to cause trouble

    10. baileywalk
      December 18th, 2006 | 7:21 pm

      Players are unpredictable. Cano is the youngest infielder, and he missed a month this year. How do you know some backup catcher isn’t going to slam his knee into A-Rod’s shoulder and dislocate it? How do you know Jeter won’t twist his ankle and miss a month? You can’t ever count on a player staying healthy because too many things happen throughout the year.

      If Jeter or A-Rod goes down, I don’t want to have to see Cairo take over for them. As he did for Cano. (Not to mention that Torre had Cairo playing first (!) this year, which just goes to show that you can’t trust Torre with him.)

      I believe you need to hire your backup with the thought that if your starter goes down, the team won’t suffer in the short term by the backup starting.

      That’s not the case with Cairo. It doesn’t make or break a season, but I just wish the Yankees would CONSIDER other people instead of just automatically going with the sucky players they had before, which they’ve done with Cairo, Bubba Crosby, Enrique Wilson, etc., etc.

      I would also call Cairo a so-so glove, decent wheels, nonexistent stick backup infielder.

    11. #15
      December 18th, 2006 | 7:31 pm

      Cairo can play every position but pitcher and catcher (maybe even that in a pinch). That’s why Torre loves him. Our ute needs to be able to flash the leather, run a little, and give some stars a day off. Miggy fills the role very well. I’ve never seen him go less than 100% when he’s in the line up. Much prefer him than a guy like Nick Green. Miggy struck out in 14% of his AB’s, Green, 35%.

    12. Paul
      December 18th, 2006 | 7:45 pm

      I tend to like Miguel Cairo. His numbers indicate that he was certainly adequate when needed.

      Miguel Cairo 2006
      runners in scoring position .328
      bases loaded .375

      I do understand the importance of having the best backup possible in case the starter goes down. That affirms the keeping Melky argument. Thanks.

    13. baileywalk
      December 18th, 2006 | 7:47 pm

      #15, saying he’s better than Nick Green is like saying you’d rather dine on cat instead of dog. Both are so foul it’s meaningless.

      Neither one of those guys is the answer. And in fairness to Green, I would say they’re basically the same, with Green having a lot more pop in his bat (Cairo can’t hit the warning track).

      You guys give Cairo too much credit for his glove. He doesn’t have spectacular range or anything. He’s okay at second, okay at short, and lousy at third (and nothing special at first, where he shouldn’t have played).

      Being able to play every infield position shouldn’t be the only criteria for picking up a utility guy. I can play all infield positions and I’m pretty fast. But I don’t expect to get hired by the Yankees because I’m not going to be able to hit major-league pitching and I don’t play any of the positions at a good or great level.

      The same can be said of Miguel Cairo.

      I’m not dissing the guy. I like him. All I say to Cashman is: LOOK for someone else first.

    14. DonnieDosTresBaseball
      December 18th, 2006 | 8:22 pm

      *All I say to Cashman is: LOOK for someone else first.”

      Cashman is always looking to go cheap. He will not look for someone else first if that someone else costs more. I like Cairo, I really do, but Brian is content with failure while Theo will stop at nothing to get what he wants and never stops trying to improve his ballclub.

    15. Nick from Washington Heights
      December 18th, 2006 | 8:34 pm

      and yet, somehow, the Yanks keep on winning the AL East and the Sox keep on finishing second…or third.

    16. JohnnyC
      December 18th, 2006 | 8:38 pm

      “Theo will stop at nothing to get what he wants and never stops trying to improve his ballclub.” Oh, he stops, believe me. He stopped at Bobby Abreu last July if you’ll recall. The Red Sox are, right now, “creatively” editing their own never-ending search to improve by fiddling with Drew’s deal. The real stopper is the $148 million luxury tax plateau. That’s where Theo the Stopper…er…stops.

    17. DonnieDosTresBaseball
      December 18th, 2006 | 11:14 pm

      My point about Theo stopping had nothing to do with money. It was that he is always looking for something better, whether it be at a bargain price or a high price, while Cashman settles for the Nick Greens and Enrique Wilsons of the world.

      Yes, he stopped at Abreu because he knew he could get more for his trumped up prospects. They are fiddling with Drew’s deal not to get rid of him but so they can lower his salary, giving them even more money to sign players. They don’t have a closer now, but come the trade deadline, they will part with Dustin Pedroia or Wily Mo Pena to get the new and improved Brad Lidge, maybe Otsuka.

    18. DonnieDosTresBaseball
      December 18th, 2006 | 11:23 pm

      Nick ——- Not the Yankees being failures, because we are not. Brian is content with failure meaning Cashman is content with having *failures like Cairo on the team while Theo would say that Cairo doesnt help his team in any way, so he goes out and gets Dave Roberts for a guaranteed stolen base whenever you need one. You remember how that turned out.

    19. Nick from Washington Heights
      December 18th, 2006 | 11:37 pm

      I think both are strong GMs, but it’s New England mythology that Theo had the foresight to anticipate a late-inning steal that would change the course of history. If not for one lousy inning, we wouldn’t have to listen to tales about the genius of Boy Wonder.

      By the way, Theo was content with starting Alex Gonzalez last year who has a career OBP of .300. Sometimes even very smart people do less than their best.

    20. Exit9
      December 19th, 2006 | 12:07 am

      Last year they’d just brought in Beckett and Theo was cocky enough with his coco – powered OF and his stacked rotation to deal Arroyo to the Reds for a stick – ended up laming out at the deadine and folding like a cheap suit finishing in third behind the mediocre Jays. I’d call that a spectacular failure by AL East standards.

    21. DonnieDosTresBaseball
      December 19th, 2006 | 1:34 am

      I dont know what you’re talking about Nick. Obviously, Theo did have the foresight, as I did. I remember in ’04 hoping that the Yankees would trade for Roberts for the exact same reason. I wanted a guy who could give us a sure stolen base at the most opportune of times.

      He got Alex Gonzalez solely for defense because they had enough offense. It’s not like the middle of their lineup is going to fold like a bad hand like ours does. Also, he figured he’d get offensive production out of him too. Who can blame him. Though not by much, he improved upon his AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS for his career by about 1 percent.

      Exit9, he dealt Arroyo because he figured they wouldn’t have any injuries. Again, who can blame him. This is the same team that got a doctor to perform a first ever surgery on Skirt Schilling so he can go out and get aided by a Mark Bellhorn wind-aided, steroid-aided homer, and Jorge Posada wind-knockdown, should’ve been homer, flyout. And he got Wily Mo, who with their luck and with Ortiz injecting Wily like he injects himself, could probably become the RH David Ortiz.

      In regards to Crisp, wouldn’t you take a defensive marvel and average offensive producer with speed in a trade where you give up nothing to get him. I know I sure would.

    22. dcrono
      December 19th, 2006 | 3:00 am

      I hope enough people read this, but I am 100% sure that Kei Igawa’s first name is not pronounced like “Key.” I know someone mentioned it in Steve’s original post about Kei’s name and gave the correct pronunciation.

      Btw, this comment is not directed at anyone. I love this blog and the comments but I guess I am just a bit picky on the correct pronunciation and I am sure Igawa would appreciate it too.

    23. dcrono
      December 19th, 2006 | 3:20 am

      Actually, I can’t seem to find the original post about Igawa’s name. I am very sorry if I confused another’s blogs post with this blog (though the reason would be that I read this blog the most and automatically assumed it was from here). Anyway, his name is pronounced more like the letter “K”, though there is still a slight difference.

    24. Nick from Washington Heights
      December 19th, 2006 | 8:21 am

      Let me get this straight. You’re complaining about Cashman potentially bringing Cairo back for about 130 at bats amd yet you rationalize Theo’s choice of Alex Gonzalez as a starter for the Sox. I don’t get your point. How about this? Cashman is probably going to bring Cairo back because there aren’t many solid utility players on the market and his choices are limited. This was similar to why Theo brought Gonzalez, who is spectacularly mediocre, to Boston for over 500 at bats. There weren’t many choices on the market. Also, the Sox traded Andy Marte for Coco Crisp. Andy Marte is one of the top prospects in baseball. That’s not exactly trading nothing for a center fielder who was awful at the plate last year. Theo’s plan led to 86 wins last year. Cash’s team won 97. Am I missing something?

      And if you were able to anticipate that history-making steal, more power to you.

    25. Nick from Washington Heights
      December 19th, 2006 | 8:24 am

      dcrono, you are correct, sir! I have a friend, a lady actually, who has the same name as Igawa. “Kei” is apparently a unisex name like “Leslie” in Japan.

    26. JohnnyC
      December 19th, 2006 | 9:47 am

      Nick is right about Theo being 1 inning away from being tarred, feathered, and thrown into the Charles River. Theo is a figment of Larry Lucchino’s imagination and a product of Peter Gammons’ relentless homerism. Dave Roberts should have been the last, desperate flailing of an utterly devastated franchise but for one thing…Joe Torre’s inability to call a friggin’ pitch out. Everyone in the park knew Roberts was in the game to steal a base…except Torre.

    27. baileywalk
      December 19th, 2006 | 10:49 am

      Goddddddd, Johnny, thanks for reopening THOSE wounds. Yeesh. Torre really is the worst. I think they should surgically remove his thumb from his butt in ’07. I have flashbacks to that ninth inning like a Vietnam vet has cold sweats over his days in the bush.

      Torre’s gut probably told him it wasn’t smart to pitch-out there.

      Another reason for losing that game was the Yankees’ absolute inability to hit Keith Foulke. He dominated us in those playoffs. (He pitched almost three innings that night and didn’t give up a hit.)

      It’s kind of apropos to bring up that night when talking about reserve players, the ones who “don’t matter.” In the 12th inning of a tied game — right before Papi would hit his walk-off — it went like this: Posada singles, RUBEN SIERRA grounds out, TONY CLARK flies to right, MIGUEL CAIRO strikes out.

      Sometimes your backup guys come up in important spots.

    28. DonnieDosTresBaseball
      December 19th, 2006 | 12:00 pm

      And if you were able to anticipate that history-making steal, more power to you

      Rather, it’s less power to the Yankees. When the Red Sox traded for Roberts, they traded for him for one reason, and although I was happy that they got rid of Nomar, I was sick to my stomach knowing they had a sure steal in their arsenal. Dont feel bad guys, a pitch-out wasn’t going to get him. A 100 mph throw on the money wasn’t going to get him.

      Andy Marte=Nothin’ He was never mentioned by Gammons when he was in the Braves organization. The moment the Sox got him for Edgar is when everyone heard how good Marte was. That should tell you something. Have you seen Marte play. He might actually be a worse baseball player than me. BWAHAHAHAAHAHAH!!!!!!!

    29. Nick from Washington Heights
      December 19th, 2006 | 12:09 pm

      Marte was Baseball Prospectus’s #1 prospect in all of baseball going into 2006.

    30. DonnieDosTresBaseball
      December 19th, 2006 | 12:41 pm

      I will repeat, there was never anything mentioned about him before that. He was only “Baseball Prospectus’s #1 prospect in all of baseball going into 2006” so the Red Sox could net themselves somebody good for him.

    31. Nick from Washington Heights
      December 19th, 2006 | 12:46 pm

      BP works for the Sox? Now I’m totally lost. A well-regarded publication, independent of the Sox (I think…Or maybe Theo is that good), raved about Marte. He was a big-time prospect before the trade; not just the creation of Gammons-driven hype.

    32. Don
      December 19th, 2006 | 2:16 pm

      Don’t you know that all baseball works for the Bosox? It’s a horrible conspiracy and only thanks to the ever vigilant ‘DDTB’ is this perfidy known to mankind.

      Actually, if you’re a Yankee fan, why obsess over the Bosox? Historically speaking.

    33. DonnieDosTresBaseball
      December 19th, 2006 | 2:22 pm

      Why would the Braves get rid of this guy if that was the case in a trade in which was essentially a salary dump by the Red Sox. The Red Sox picked up some of Edgar’s salary, but if you are going to get a number one prospect in a system, you better be picking up the whole salary.

      This has nothing to do with Theo, but…
      It doesn’t matter one iota that BP is independent of the Sox. So is Dave Littlefield supposed to be independent of the Sox, and we see where his loyalties lie. So is the head of the baseball steroids’ investigation supposed to be independent of the Sox, and once again, we see where his loyalties lie. And finally, you’d think that the owner of the Dodgers might actually care about the Dodgers and not the Red Sox although he grew up a lifelong Red Sox fan, but once again you’d be wrong. He will not accuse them of tampering, and he tried to screw us from getting RJ two years ago.

    34. DonnieDosTresBaseball
      December 19th, 2006 | 3:12 pm

      Thank you Don. I’m glad my efforts have not gone unnoticed.

      I obsess over the BoSox because I am not content with 26 W.S. With the way the Red Sox get given everything now, they may have 40 W.S. by the end of 2099, while we may be stuck in a curse of our own at 26. I’d rather obsess about it now in hopes that things change so the aforementioned doesn’t happen.

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