New York Mets Look To The Far East, Sign Reliever From Japan

Update: The terms of the deal are for two-years and $3 million total.

Original Post:

The New York Mets have looked to Japan for talent nine times in their history. And nine times the results have not been what the Mets were looking for.

The Mets are hoping the results from their latest import from Japan are more favorable than in years past.

Today, the Mets have signed 30-year-old RHP Ryota Igarashi from the Yakult Swallows of the Japanese Central League to a two-year contract. No terms of the deal have been released yet.

In his 10-year career in the NCL, Igarashi had a 3.25 ERA, 54 saves, and 630 strike outs in 570 innings. Igarashi is expected to work out of the bullpen for the Mets in 2010 and could ultimately be the eighth inning set-up man to closer Francisco Rodriguez.

Here is a scouting report on Igarashi courtesy of ESPN.com’s Keith Law:

“Igarashi is a slightly wild power reliever who missed all of 2007 and part of 2008 due to Tommy John surgery, but has fully recovered and handled a regular workload in 2009. He has a very quick arm and has been clocked at 98 mph, although he’ll probably pitch at 93-96 in a one-inning role in the U.S.

His best off-speed pitch is a mid- to upper-80s splitter with good bottom, and he can throw the pitch for strikes instead of waiting for hitters to chase it in the dirt. He has some deception in his delivery, and he’s almost a “drop-and-drift” guy without great forward momentum towards the plate.”

And for those of you who aren’t satisfied with Law’s scouting report and want to see Igarashi for yourself, here is a video of Igarashi in action courtesy of YouTube:

As I mentioned earlier there have been nine players from Japan, who have played in a Mets’ uniform. Here they are:

Takashi Kashiwada, Hideo Nomo, Masato Yoshii, Satoru Komiyama, Tsuyoshi Shinjo, Kazuhisa Ishii, Shinjo Takatsu, Kazuo Matsui, and Ken Takahashi.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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