Tag:Kenshin Kawakami
Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:05 am

Failed imports may replace Darvish in Japan

Kei Igawa Kenshin Kawakami

By C. Trent Rosecrans

If you're a Japanese team and you lose your best player to the big leagues, what do you do to replace him? Well, besides cashing a check for more than $51.7 million, you turn to former big-league pitchers.

The Nippon Ham Fighters (and once again, let me stress that it's the Nippon Ham… Fighters, not the Ham Fighters) are looking at former Japanese big leaguers Kei Igawa and Kenshin Kawakami, according to Daily Sports in Japan (via YakyuBaka.com). The Rangers hope it's not an even trade, as neither Igawa nor Kawakami lived up to expectations in the United States.

Igawa, 32, was posted after the 2006 season and the Yankees paid a posting fee of more than $26 million before signing to a five-year, $20 million contract with New York. For all that money, the Yankees got 13 starts and three relief appearances out of the left-hander, and he hasn't appeared in a big-league game since 2008. In MLB, he went 2-4 with a 6.66 ERA. Last year he was 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA at Double-A and Triple-A. With the Hanshin Tigers of Japan's Central League, he led the league in strikeouts three times and won the 2003 Eiji Sawamura Award, Japan's Cy Young equivalent.

Kawakami, 36, signed with the Braves as an international free agent in 2009, meaning the Braves didn't have to pay a posting fee. He won the Sawamura Award and Central League MVP in 2004. With the Braves, Kawakami was 8-22 with a 4.32 ERA in 41 starts and nine relief appearances in 2009 and 2010 before being outrighted to Double-A after the 2010 season. He struggled in Double-A in 2011, going 2-4 with an 8.41 ERA in 16 appearances (six starts) for Double-A Mississippi.

As Matt Snyder already pointed out, the fact that other Japanese pitchers have failed, doesn't mean Darvish will. Of course, that didn't stop our Taiwanese friends to make the comparison in one of their infamous videos, where Walker "Tex-xas" Ranger is handing over the checks to Darvish to face off Albert Pujols.

The Rangers will have a press conference with Darvish to make the signing official Friday night at 7 p.m. Texas time at Rangers Ballpark.

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Posted on: February 3, 2011 6:48 pm

Japanese teams interested in Kawakami

Kenshin Kawakami The Braves have been searching for a taker for right-hander Kenshin Kawakami (and the $6.67 million left on his contract) all off-season, and they may not only found one, but two.

Two Japanese teams are interested in bring Kawakami home, according to FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal .

The Braves wouldn't receive a player in a trade with a Japanese team, just the savings from whatever the team will pay Kawakami. The 35-year old is 8-22 with a 4.32 ERA since coming from Japan.

In 11 seasons with the Chunichi Dragons of the Central League, Kawakami went 112-072 with a 3.22 ERA.

The Braves outrighted him to Double-A after the season. The team was close to dealing him to the Pirates at the Winter Meetings, but couldn't agree on how much each side would pay of the remaining contract.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: December 9, 2010 10:49 am
Edited on: December 9, 2010 10:55 am

Pirates closing in on Kawakami deal

Kenshin Kawakami The Pirates are close to acquiring Kenshin Kawakami from the Braves, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 's Rob Biertempfel reports .

The sticking point, right now it seems is how much money the Braves send over. The Pirates could be sending as little as a player to be named.

The Orioles are also reportedly interested in Kawakami, but their interest could just be a negotiation ploy for the Braves trying to leverage a better deal out of Pittsburgh.

The Pirates have been trying to move Paul Maholm, and if they are able to do that, it would then open a spot for Kawakami.

In other Pirates news, the team's deal with Scott Olsen is structured as more or less a try-out deal to see if his shoulder is healthy. He will make $500,000 this year, but can make up to $3 million in incentives based on starts. There's also a club option for $4 million for 2012.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 8, 2010 2:58 pm

Braves confident can deal Kawakami

The Braves have been desperate to clear out starting pitcher Kenshin Kawakami, who can't buy a win to save his life but is actually a solid pitcher.

Kawakami has been bandied about with the Pirates and other clubs but nothing has happened yet. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution 's David O'Brien reveals, the team is confident that Kawakami can be traded -- the only issue is how much of the Japanese's $6.667 million the Braves can convince another team to pick up.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 6, 2010 2:56 pm

Pirates eyeing more starters

The Pirates' search for pitching won't stop with Scott Olsen. The team is interested in Braves starter Kenshin Kawakami (MLB.com ) and Justin Duchscherer (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ), because as of now, their rotation is Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, James McDonald, Charlie Morton and Olsen, with Brad Lincoln also in the mix.

The Braves are looking to unload Kawakami, who is due $6.667 million in 2011, the last year of his three-year deal with Atlanta. Kawakami went 1-10 with a 5.15 ERA, in 18 games and 16 starts. He was twice sent to the minors last season and was removed from the team's 40-man roster. The Braves would likely pay a good portion of Kawakami's salary and may just want to dump him.

Duchscherer, 33, appeared in just five games last season with the A's with a  hip injury and missed all of 2009 with back and shoulder injuries. He was an All-Star in 2008, going 10-8 with a 2.54 ERA in Oakland.

According to the Post-Gazette report, Duchscherer is expected to be ready for spring training.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 15, 2010 10:53 am

Japanese teams interested in Kawakami

Kenshin Kawakami The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks are interested in demoted Braves right-hander Kenshin Kawakami, Jason Coskrey of the Japan Times reports (via Twitter , passing on a Japanese article).

Kawakami, due $6.67 million in 2011, cleared waivers and was outright to Double-A Mississippi. Braves general manager Frank Wren has said he'd like to find a team to take a chunk of his salary and noted several Japanese teams have shown interest in Kawakami, 34.

According to MLB.com's Mark Bowman , the Yomiuri Giants and Nippon Ham Fighters have shown interest in Kawakami, but wrote "another unidentified Japanese team provided the Braves reason to believe they would be willing to assumer more of the $6.67 million figure than the other two clubs." That could be the Hawks.

Kawakami pitched for Chunichi of Japan's Central League from 1998-2008, where he won the MVP and the Eijii Sawamura Award (the equivalent of the Cy Young Award) in 2004.

Kawakami has gone 8-22 with a 4.32 ERA in two seasons with the Braves, including 1-10 with a  5.15 ERA last season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 13, 2010 12:51 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 12:52 pm

Braves take Kawakami off roster

Kenshin Kawakami
In another sign of just how badly the Kenshin Kawakami experiment has gone, the Braves outrighted the right-hander to Double-A on Friday.

The move was made to clear up a 40-man roster spot in advance of the Rule 5 draft, so the Braves can protect one more player another team might actually want. Kawakami does not qualify in that category given that he went 1-10 (for a division winner, no less) with a 5.15 ERA and 1.49 WHIP and is owed $6.667 million next season.

The Braves are hoping to find someone either here or back in Japan to take Kawakami, 35, and some of that salary, though they'll likely have to pick up most of the tab. It seems like he might have more value in Japan, where he was an MVP, won the Japanese equivalent of the Cy Young, threw a no-hitter and won a title. In two seasons with the Braves, he's 8-22 with a 4.32 ERA.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 21, 2010 9:20 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2010 9:24 pm

International trade talks?

Kenshin Kawakami
Kenshin Kawakami might be headed back home.

MLB.com reports that the Japanese right-hander, who was a huge disappointment in Atlanta in his second U.S. season, might be traded to a Japanese club by the Braves. Kawakami was a successful starter in Japan for 10 years, winning both rookie of the year and MVP honors in the Central League.

After a mediocre first season in Atlanta, Kawakami completely tanked this year, going 1-10 with a 5.15 ERA and a WHIP of 1.489. Opponents batted .284 against him. The Braves, reportedly willing to assume $3 million of his $6.67 million 2011 salary, are apparently not finding much of a market for him in the U.S. and are shopping him elsewhere. One Japanese report had Yomiuri and Nippon showing interest.

But Braves blog talkingchop.com has an intriguing idea. The Hanshin Tigers made a big push to sign Kawakami when he became a free agent after the 2008 season, so they'd be a possible suitor. And what do they have to offer in return? Former big-league outfielder Matt Murton, who broke Ichiro Suzuki's Japanese single-season hits record this year. The Braves need nothing more than they need outfielders, and Murton even played at Georgia Tech.

Everybody wins!

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
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