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Though it was widely known, the Red Sox officially signed 22-year-old Japanese pitcher Junichi Tazawa Thursday afternoon. He was inked to a three-year, $3 million deal.
He will likely begin his professional baseball career in the minors for the Red Sox, but I’m sure he’ll be invited to Spring Training before the 2009 season.
Tazawa turned down offers from the Seattle Mariners, Atlanta Braves, and Texas Rangers, and the presence of Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima definitely played a role in Tazawa coming to Boston.
My Take: I think this signing was a no-brainer for the Red Sox. He’s got a good pitching repotiore and he’s relatively inexpensive. It cost the Sox a lot to get Dice-K to come to Boston (over $100 million). Don’t ask the Yankees about Jose Contreras either. They paid a lot to get him and got very little.
Overall, it was a solid signing and hopefully he will project into a nice middle-of-the-rotation starter or effective relief pitcher.