Do You See What I See…

At 2 p.m. today Kei Igawa was pulled back from waivers by the New York Yankees.  The San Diego Padres had placed a waiver claim on Igawa and the two teams had until 2 p.m. today to complete a deal.  The Yankees had 3 options "the Yankees could have simply handed the pitcher (and what is left of his five-year, $20 million contract) to the Padres; the Padres and Yankees could have worked out a trade, which they talked about in July and continued to discuss over the weekend; or the Yankees had the option of withdrawing Igawa from waivers. The Yankees chose the latter option, in the hopes of rebuilding Igawa for the 2008 season" this according to Buster Olney of ESPN.

I just don’t see what the Yankees and Cash see in this guy.  From what I have seen, the only thing he has going for him is that he is a lefty.  He doesn’t throw hard, he doesn’t posses pinpoint accuracy, he throws up in the zone with mediocre speed, he is not efficient and hangs a ton of breaking balls.  Barring any injuries next seasons rotation is pretty much sewn up, where do they think this guy is going to help?  Chime in gentlemen because I am darn curious. 


16 comments… add one
  • The only thing I can think of is if he’s converted to a reliever and takes over for Villone.

    batty August 14, 2007, 10:10 pm
  • I’m assuming that Cash is holding out to get more value from him. We’ll enter the off-season and someone will get desperate for a lefty. “Hello? Mr. Cashman? I understand that you have a certain Mr. Igawa available…”

    DW-sf August 14, 2007, 10:14 pm
  • Sorry…I missed that earlier part. Trisk, are you assuming that Joba goes into the rotation next year? Just asking because Kay & Co. were discussing the need to slowly build up the innings of young pitchers. I would’ve assumed that Joba got the nod next year in early summer. Hughes also hasn’t pitched a full MLB season’s worth of innings so they may want to “break” him in first before Joba. So…perhaps that’s why Iggy may stick around. Just a guess, mind you.

    DW-sf August 14, 2007, 10:24 pm
  • Part of it might be saving face for the organization too. Why admit that you pulled a boner if it doesn’t have at least a bit of upside to it? Dumping him at the nadir of his value wouldn’t get anything that’s helping you this year anyhow.
    Like DW said above, someone will crack and fall for him again at some point. The most help Igawa can provide for NY right now is by pitching at AAA or lower for the rest of 2007.

    FenSheaParkway August 14, 2007, 10:47 pm
  • Uh…didn’t really say that. It’s an honest question, not a flame.

    DW-sf August 14, 2007, 10:50 pm
  • Wouldn’t the Padres have wanted the Yankees to pick up some of his contract? Igawa should be dropped like a bad habit, and I’m disappointed he isn’t going, but I’m OK with keeping him in AAA until the Yankees find a more desperate team.
    Same thing with Farnsworth, he’s not that devoid of talent to justify paying another team serious cash money to take him off our hands.

    Doug - YF August 14, 2007, 11:18 pm
  • I’m sure San Diego offered zilch for him and this, rather than any lingering hopes for a role in next year’s rotation, was what killed the deal for Cashman. I have no problem with it.

    Anonymous August 15, 2007, 2:06 am
  • i can’t imagine why anyone would want him at this point, given his mediocre performance so far…how bad is the padre’s pitching that they seriously considered acquiring him…sheesh

    dc August 15, 2007, 8:06 am
  • there’s no reason to deal him on the cheap. the yanks sunk an enormous sum into igawa, but his annual salary is actually on the low side for a lefty starter. if he can show any kind of improvement next year, he becomes a valuable chit. it’s easy to say “dump him!” but i’m not sure that’s a smart business decision.

    YF August 15, 2007, 8:26 am
  • Exactly, YF. This isn’t Sidney Ponson. We haven’t seen the guy who was the strikeout king (and equivalent Cy Young) in Japan.
    Igawa has serious talent, and the Yankees took a 5-year-long chance on him. You don’t give up on that because he blew in the majors for a year. There’s really little chance he becomes much of anything, but if he does, he creates some serious value to smaller-market teams in need of cheap pitching. He’ll never be good enough for the Yankees rotation, but maybe, like Irabu, he can be turned into, say, a Ted Lilly and Jake Westbrook (who, by extension, turned into David Justice, so Irabu was worth it just for that).
    At any rate, if San Diego was offering nothing for Igawa, it would be an even worse move to get rid of him than to just keep him and take the chance that he turns into something actually valuable (to someone else).

    AndrewYF August 15, 2007, 8:45 am
  • Valid point YF, they did invest a lot of money, but when has money ever been an obstacle for this team?
    “Igawa has serious talent…” I couldn’t disagree more. Are you sure you weren’t confusing him with Daisuke?
    If the Padres were offering nothing, I understand holding on, but I am telling you now this guys value will NOT get any higher.

    John - YF (Trisk) August 15, 2007, 9:35 am
  • Money, recently, has been an obstacle for the team, and often. (Beltran?) But howevermuch money you have, there’s no reason to just go pissing it away. I’m not confident that Igawa will turn things around, but I’m also entirely unconvinced by your declaration that his “value” will not increase. There’s value on the field and there’s value on the ledger; a small bump in the former will mean a big bump in the latter. Writing him off now would not seem to make much sense at all. The proper use of the Yankee coffers is to continue to eat his (relatively low) salary in the hope that he can be leveraged in the future. We’re not Pittsburgh. We don’t need to just rush him off the books. That’s how the Yanks capitalize on their monetary advantage. Tossing players of potential value away–that’s exactly what they should NOT do. So props to Cash here, though this debacle lands in his lap in the first place.

    YF August 15, 2007, 10:07 am
  • There’s no reason for the Yankees to pay any of his salary. He’s at $4 million per, and if the Padres think they can make him a No. 4 or a No. 5, then that’s a steal for them, paying 100 cents on the dollar.
    This deal didn’t happen because the Padres couldn’t get any decent relievers through waivers and couldn’t offer the Yankees anything in return. It will get done in the offseason.

    yankees76 August 15, 2007, 11:22 am
  • Trisk, what I mean was, I don’t think this guy’s ceiling is your typical minor league scrub. He was the best pitcher in Japan one year, and had several strikeout titles. You don’t get that by being Colter Bean. I don’t have much hope for him, but to say his value isn’t going to get any higher is pretty silly, because it doesn’t look like it can get much lower.

    AndrewYF August 15, 2007, 12:26 pm
  • “…but to say his value isn’t going to get any higher is pretty silly, because it doesn’t look like it can get much lower.”
    Hideki Irabu
    1998 – 173 IP 4.03 ERA
    1999 – 169 IP 4.84 ERA
    2000 – 54 IP 7.24 ERA
    2001 – 16 IP 4.86 ERA
    2002 – 47 IP 5.74 ERA
    I guess we can agree to disagree on this one. Only time will tell.

    John - YF (Trisk) August 15, 2007, 12:47 pm
  • TJ September 2, 2007, 11:47 am

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