35-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Kei Igawa in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Kei Igawa Contract Information:
Igawa signed a contract with the Orix Buffaloes in March of 2012.
Igawa signed a contract with the Orix Buffaloes, the Kyodo news service reports.
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Kei Igawa Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Kei Igawa: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Kei Igawa.
Year 2 of the Igawa Era in New York actually took place primarily in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He did make two appearances for the Yankees late in the season, but $4 million per year is a ton to spend on a Triple-A starter, even if you're the Yankees. It appears that Igawa has no place on the team's radar for a rotation spot with home-grown talent and bigger free-agent signings alike blocking his path. A trade out of the Bronx pressure cooker might help, but he's been vulnerable to the long ball since coming to America and a spacious home park may be required if he's ever going to be a viable major leage rotation option. As long as he's in New York, you should throw your endgame darts somewhere else, but in the right circumstances (San Diego?), Igawa could at least become intriguing again.
Hideki Irabu revisited? We're not going to competely write him off yet, but it's fair to say that Igawa's first season in America was a disappointing one. Brought in to stabilize the back of the rotation, Igawa was demoted to High-A Tampa in early May to have his mechanics completely re-tooled in an effort to get him more prepared for pitching in the majors. Igawa struggled with his command all season, issuing 37 walks in 67.2 innings for the Yankees. Further, opposing hitters were able to pound out 76 hits against him, despite fanning 53 times. He still has some upside in the right situation, but Igawa comes with plenty of risk and minimal job security if the Yankees try to slot him into the back of the rotation again next season.
Igawa has been one of Japan's very best pitchers over the past six seasons, with three strikeout titles, a triple crown and an MVP award to his credit. He has been lobbying for years for a chance at the majors, and in a surprising reversal this winter, his Japanese club decided to post him after all, with the Yankees winning his rights. Igawa went 14-9, with a 2.97 ERA in 29 starts in 2006, with a 1.10 WHIP and 194:49 K:BB in 209 IP. Igawa has a plus fastball, plus-or-better circle change, and a good slider and curve as well. As witnessed by his years-long fight with his Japanese club for his chance at the majors, Igawa has great self-confidence, and could transition to America easier than other Japanese players.
Igawa is simply a keeper league note this year, as his Japanese club stopped him from trying to sign with a major league team this winter. The lefty, who'll turn 27 in July, led the Central League in strikeouts in 2004 (228, 10.2 per nine innings) but had a down year last season (3.86 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, only 7.6 strikeouts per nine innings.) Not eligible for free agency until after the 2009 season, but could leave before then if he ticks off his team enough.