Update – 9:26 p.m.: A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press the Mets and Igarashi are closing in on a two-year deal.
My head is spinning. Seriously, does anyone have a read on this?
Update – 9:00 p.m.: Head over to Fonzie Forever for a translation of the Japanese report that has the Red Sox in the lead for Igarashi.
Update – 6:40 p.m.: Adam Rubin talked to Igarashi’s agent, who said they “are in serious discussions” with the Mets.
Update – 6:33 p.m.: According to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker, a Japanese report has the Red Sox in the lead for Igarashi, as they are willing to offer a deal worth $2-3 million in total.
Original Post: According to David Waldstein in the New York Times, the Mets are close to signing a two-year deal with Japanese relief pitcher Ryoto Igarashi.
Igarashi, 30, has pitched in the Japanese Central League since 1999. He holds the joint record for fastest pitch in the JCL at 98.75, which he threw in 2004.
He has gone under the knife for Tommy John surgery, missing all of 2007, according to NPB Tracker.
“Most of those scouts projected him as an effective late-inning reliever at the major league level,” Waldstein writes.
Last season, with the Yakult Swallows, Igarashi was 3-2 with and 3.19 ERA in 56 games. Over 53 2-3 innings, Igarashi struck out 44.
According to NPB Tracker, control has been an issue for Igarashi. In 517 1-3 innings in the JCL, he’s tossed 42 wild pitches and issued 221 walks. He has struck out 586 in his career.
If signed, he could be a possible set-up man for Francisco Rodriguez.
Also, according to this site, his blood type is Type A. No, seriously.
Here’s a video of him striking out the side last season…