The Red Sox are also eyeing right-hander Kenshin Kawakami, a free agent from the Chunichi Dragons in Japan who is often compared to Dodgers right-hander Hiroki Kuroda. ...
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Sox Interested in Japanse Free Agent Pitcher Kenshin Kawakami?
Posted 29 October 2008 - 11:23 AM
Posted 29 October 2008 - 11:24 AM
NPB Tracker's Kawakami profile
Kawakami isnít overpowering; his fastball tops out in the low 90ís. His control is good, though not quite as awe-inspiring as Koji Ueharaís. And his windup isnít deceptive, like many Japanese pitchers. Kawakami gets by purely on quality stuff.
Kawakamiís featured pitch is a cut fastball, which, according to Wikipedia, is known as Japanís finest among visiting MLB All-Stars. He also has a slow curve, which he throws at 65-70 MPH. The rest of his arsenal is fairly typical: fastball, shuuto, fork. He changes speeds pretty well, particularly between his curve and harder stuff.
Edited by Hairps, 29 October 2008 - 11:37 AM.
Posted 29 October 2008 - 12:13 PM
Kenshin Kawakami - Japan's highest paid starter for the champion Chunichi Dragons (he made around $3MM) mixes a fastball, cutter, and curveball. His fastball runs around 87 and his curve is very slow. He's known as a big game pitcher and always challenges hitters. He was 12-8 with a 3.55 ERA in 2007, but the K/BB ratio was an appealing 6.3 in 167 2/3 IP. He's a HR prone strikeout pitcher. Kawakami has been healthy for the past four seasons.
Hearing this worries me a little, as HR prone strikeout pitcher with high 80s heat Kei Igawa saw how well that skillset transferred to the majors. Maybe the separation on the curve will help him avoid the same fate.
He seems pretty interested in coming to the red sox if these comments from a while ago are any indication.
Forgive me if this was talked about in the article, I don't have a BP subscription.
Just for fun here's the career stats of the two in japan.
Edited by GoWhalers, 29 October 2008 - 12:54 PM.
Posted 05 November 2008 - 04:21 PM
http://www.boston.co...-- Red Sox news
The Sox also have interest in Kenshin Kawakami, a 33-year-old righty for the Chunichi Dragons who went 9-5 with a 2.30 ERA last season. Kawakami is a Hiroki Kuroda-type pitcher with a cut fastball and good curveball who could man the No. 4 or 5 spot in the Sox rotation.
Posted 06 November 2008 - 11:57 AM
The rest of his 2008 stats: 20 starts, 117.1 IP, 99 H, 11 HR, 112 K, 25 BB.
9-5 with a 2.30 ERA last season
FWIW, he missed 3 weeks in April due to “illness”, and another 3 weeks in Sept with a strained back.
Edited by mabrowndog, 06 November 2008 - 12:06 PM.
Posted 17 November 2008 - 01:01 PM
Kawakami reminds me too much of Kei Igawa to ignore it, but he's here on the basis of a pretty strong track record of missing bats in Japan. He sits in the upper 80s with a very straight fastball; he's been more homer-prone in Japan than Igawa was, and that pitch's lack of movement is the major reason why.
He throws a potentially above-average cutter and can generate some ground balls with it, but it's not a clear out pitch. None of his offerings (he also throws a slow curve and a forkball with good-not-great diving action) is good enough to project that he'll strike out hitters here as he did in Nippon Professional Baseball. He throws a ton of strikes and was mostly durable through his career in Japan, although he missed some time in September with back trouble. He's a back-end starter for a National League club.
The Igawa spin is worrisome.
Posted 17 November 2008 - 01:06 PM
Posted 17 November 2008 - 01:48 PM
Since there isn't much on Kawakami, I figured I'd add Keith Law's insider view on him. Law has him ranked 42 out of 50 free agents:
The Igawa spin is worrisome.
I remember hearing two things about Igawa that aren't necessarily going to be the case here -- one, he had a makeup issue and two that Guidry messed him up.
Posted 01 December 2008 - 07:15 PM
That seems completely out of nowhere. Earlier today, NPB Tracker had this report:
Don't know what's up with that line.... http://www.metronews.../article/148823
Daily Sports is reporting that Hanshin is set to boost itís efforts to acquire Kenshin Kawakami after failing to entice Daisuke Miura to leave Yokohama. The figure thrown out in this article is 4 years/ ￥2bn ($20m), but I donít know how seriously I take that number.
Hanshin, if youíre listening, the time to act is now. As of this weekend, Kawakami didnít have any offers in hand, and heís unlikely to get much MLB until the frontline guys sign. Go in and offer him $6.5-7m/year and give him something to think about.
Posted 01 December 2008 - 07:17 PM
Another name from Japan could be popping up on the hot stove radar of the Red Sox and other teams soon: 33-year-old right-handed starting pitcher Kenjin Kawakami. The Sox have scouted him multiple times and the veteran has expressed interest in playing here. Several teams are expected to be involved in the bidding for Kawakami.
Posted 01 December 2008 - 07:23 PM
Japanese hurler Kenshin Kawakami, who is set to become a free agent after the season, reportedly wants to pitch for the Red Sox.
The Yankees and Mets are among the teams believed to have scouted Kawakami, a soon-to-be 33-year-old right-hander. Kawakami just missed qualifying for free agency last year. Had he made the jump then, he might have received a contract similar to Hiroki Kuroda's. He has the weaker fastball of the two, but he has an outstanding track record.
Rotoworld was quoting this article: http://sports.yahoo....0000012-ykf-spo ; however, the link no longer works.
Posted 01 December 2008 - 07:27 PM
Posted 01 December 2008 - 07:30 PM
Ah. I just emailed him as well. This news (if true) coupled with the Byrd arbitration report is interesting to say the least.
Marty York, the author of the line I just posted, sent me a message saying that the Kawakami information is based on his own information and not on any other reports. I asked because he wrote "Kenjin" the same way the Herald did this morning.
edit: his response:
"Information I've received from MLB sources I've had for years."
Edited by Corsi Combover, 01 December 2008 - 07:32 PM.
Posted 01 December 2008 - 08:54 PM
"Interesting, thanks for the tip. I'll see if I can corroborate this, but the reports out of Japan as of 2-3 were that there were still no offers for Kawakami."
Posted 03 December 2008 - 09:48 AM
One of the best forkballs in recent years was thrown by Hideo Nomo.
I'm also concerned about any JPL pitcher featuring a forkball. Isn't the ball there smaller, and/or the surface different? I remember hearing of that with Matsuzaka arriving here and having to alter some grips for the MLB ball. The forkball is rare in the majors, and I'm inclined to think there's a reason why.
Posted 09 December 2008 - 11:44 AM
Don't expect anything serious to percolate this week, but the Red Sox could become a primary pursuer of Japanese pitcher Kenshin Kawakami, a 33-year-old right-hander who has pitched for the Chunichi Dragons for 11 seasons. Kawakami is a free agent and wants to play in America; he signed with agent Daniel Evans (a former Los Angeles Dodgers general manager) just before Thanksgiving this year.
Evans stressed that it's too early to gauge what teams -- or even how many teams -- will be seriously interested in Kawakami. But he and his staff have been reaching out acros the league and speaking with various clubs. "Right now," he said, "it's more fact-finding than anything else."
Because of their aggressive and successful track record in signing Japanese players, the Red Sox are "obviously one of the more intriuging teams," Evans said. The Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Angels appear to potential suitors as well.
Posted 12 December 2008 - 01:47 AM
LAS VEGAS -- The market for free agent Kenshin Kawakami of Japan is developing slowly, but the Red Sox [team stats]did express interest in the 33-year-old right-hander on the last day of the winter meetings, according to a baseball source.
The final spot in the Sox rotation is up for grabs, with names such as Justin Masterson, Clay Buchholz and free agent John Smoltz among the possibilities. Should the clubís interest in Kawakami grow, he also would be a candidate.
Kawakami, meanwhile, has interest in playing for the Red Sox, who already have an infrastructure that supports Japanese players, with pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka [stats] and Hideki Okajima [stats] already are on the team.
Earlier this month, the Sox signed free agent Japanese reliever Junichi Tazawa to a major league deal, although he is expected to begin the season at Double A.
The Orioles are among a number of teams interested in Kawakami, a 10-year veteran of the Chunichi Dragons of Japanís Central League.
He is not expected to sign until next month.
Posted 12 December 2008 - 10:48 PM
According to a baseball source, the report by Nikkan Sports that the Sox have a three-year, $21 million offer out to Japanese pitcher Kenshin Kawakami is not accurate. The Sox apparently have not made an offer to Kawakami.
Posted 13 December 2008 - 03:47 PM
The Braves are competing for his services along with some of the usual suspects including the Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers and Orioles. But before you see Boston mentioned and assume he’ll follow Tazawa and join Dice-K in Beantown, it’s worth noting that the Braves are particularly motivated to improve their rotation.
“We had a very productive conversation with the Braves during the Winter Meetings,” said Kawakami’s agent Dan Evans, a former major league GM. “They made a very solid presentation and Frank Wren demonstrated a very good feel for Japanese baseball. That won some points [with Kawakami].”
Edited by SoxFanPJ, 13 December 2008 - 03:47 PM.
Posted 02 January 2009 - 08:25 AM
According to Patrick Newman over at NPB Tracker, the Orioles have made their final offer to Japanese pitcher Kenshin Kawakami, extending an incentive-laden deal that caps their chase of the starter, who has spent his entire career in Japan.
Newman cites shoulder concerns as the reason for a lower base salary and numerous incentives based on appearances and performance.
NBP Tracker also notes that the Orioles "are interested in Koji Uehara as a starter, and Baltimore was the only club to show any interest in catcher Ryoji Aikawa at all."
Posted 11 January 2009 - 06:39 AM
Braves may be in pursuit if Kawakami after loosing out on Burnett.
Kenshin Kawakami, 33, a right-hander, has reached an agreement with the Braves and will fly to Atlanta for a physical Monday, two people familiar with the situation confirmed. Itís believed to be a three-year deal, with an announcement expected Monday or Tuesday.
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