First, the Yankees take via the New York Times -
As far as Junichi Tazawa is concerned, the most rebellious acts in his 22 years have been ignoring his homework and sneaking home after sunrise. But as the first high-profile Japanese baseball prospect to spurn his nation’s leagues to entertain offers from U.S.-based major-league teams, he has found himself straining relations between baseball leagues on two continents, with accusations of talent raiding and breaking decades-long understandings.
Many Japanese baseball officials are outraged that U.S. teams are courting Tazawa, a hard-throwing righthanded pitcher, because they insist it is long-established practice for amateurs like him to be strictly off-limits to major-league clubs. Even some U.S. general managers, including the Yankees’ Brian Cashman, agree.
The Yankees’ Cashman was unequivocal.
“I’m old school — there has been an understanding,” said Cashman, whose team has a formal cooperative relationship with the Yomiuri Giants, a team particularly upset with the Tazawa affair. “There’s been a reason that Japanese amateurs haven’t been signed in the past, so we consider him hands-off.”
Next, the Red Sox view on this, via mlb.com -
The Red Sox, already the beneficiaries of significant success from Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima, are in the process of trying to land a third potential impact pitcher from Japan.
The Web site for Japanese newspaper Sankei Sports is reporting that the Boston Red Sox have made a $6 million contract offer to right-handed pitcher Junichi Tazawa.
The report indicated that the 22-year-old Tazawa met with Craig Shipley, the Red Sox’s vice president of international scouting, for nearly two hours.
The Red Sox, as is their standard policy when it comes to free-agent negotiations, international or otherwise, chose not to comment on the report.
Somebody’s doing the right thing here – and someone else is not. And, someone is going to benefit from their call here – and someone else is not. However, there’s no way to tell, yet, who’s doing the right thing or who’s going to benefit from their call. This one still has a ways to unfold…