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The O-Zone: Igawa a bargain?
Posted by Joe Oberkrieser at 3/9/2007 10:36:00 AM
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In the recent RotoWire Staff League draft, Daisuke Matsuzaka went for $32. Kei Igawa went for $13.

Has this been a trend in other leagues? If so, methinks Igawa is being undervalued. Granted, there’s no guarantee what we’ll get from Igawa, but gee whiz -- $13? He’s definitely worth taking a chance on at that price.

Some encouraging things:

* Igawa had a 194/49 K/BB in 209 innings last year in Japan. Hard to tell how that will translate to America, but at the very least he should have average dominance over here and should possess good enough control to get by.

* Stole these numbers from the Baseball Prospectus book:

2004: 29 home runs allowed

2005: 23 home runs allowed

2006: 17 home runs allowed

Nice to see an improving, rather than regressing, pitcher make the move here.

* He’s only 27.

* As long as he’s adequate, he’ll win a lot of games. The Yankees offense will see to that.

I feel like a bit of a hypocrite, because I recently wrote that I wanted nothing to do with Matsuzaka right now … and here I am touting Igawa as if I’m his agent or something. The key is value. Spending big bucks on Matsuzaka could blow up in your face if he turns out to be only average. A $13 Igawa is a much safer bet. He doesn’t have Matsuzaka’s upside, but at a cheap price, he doesn’t have Matsuzaka’s downside, either.

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