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Marlins in hunt for Japanese pitcher?


The_Godfather
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This would be interesting and obviously a different move for this organization, but according to this article we are in the hunt for Junichi Tazawa, an amateur pitcher from Japan:

 

http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/columni...&position=1

 

The Sox have been the most aggressive team with regard to Tazawa, who is also being courted by the Atlanta Braves, Florida Marlins and Chicago Cubs, among others. Tazawa throws a mid-90s fastball, a 12-6 overhand curveball and a split-finger fastball as part of his repertoire.

 

Here's some info on him and why he is available to Major League teams as a 22 year old:

 

http://canadianpress.google.com/article/AL...4hVsmtVUiHFOYww

 

Junichi Tazawa, a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher who wants to play in the majors, was passed over by Japan's 12 professional teams in Thursday's draft of amateur players.

 

Tazawa, whose fastball reaches 97 m.p.h., previously asked Japanese teams not to select him in the draft as he intends to pursue a career in the majors.

 

"I'm very relieved," said Tazawa. "I was very nervous right up until the end of the draft."

 

Several MLB teams, including the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs, scouted Tazawa while he led Nippon Oil to the corporate league championship this season.

 

No rule prevents American major league teams from pursuing Japanese amateurs, although current stars such as Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners and Daisuke Matsuzaka of the Red Sox made names for themselves playing in Japan's pro leagues.

 

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A 22 year old Japanese pitcher who throws 97 with a hard breaking curve??? How awesome would that be if we actually could nab this guy? That would say a lot about this front office.

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It doesn't matter if we're going up against these big-market teams. As the article suggests, he's only 22 years old. I highly doubt the Red Sox or the Cubs would offer him a lot of money. If we really wanted this guy, I'm sure we can match their offers, shouldn't be that high.

 

3/15M is still probably more than we, in good faith, would offer him... and those teams could offer him that

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No way he's nearly as good as being reported. Just because he asked teams not to select him, that doesn't mean they'd listen to him.

 

I'm not saying whether or not he's as good as reported, but he could've made it really clear that he will refuse to sign/play if drafted. I'm not sure what the bargaining rules are if he was indeed drafted, but ridiculous player demands have been known to get their way from time to time, and in this case the ridiculous demand may have been not to draft a 22-year old with superstar upside.

 

On the other hand, if we've even been considering courting this guy, despite knowledge that we'd be up against other big market clubs with significantly bigger wallets, it says something about the kid's talent. If Beinfest/Hill are even thinking of competing against the Red Sox an Cubs of the world, they must be in love with this kid.

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I just find it hard to believe that every team in the J League decided to grant this kid his wish, even though he throws a 97mph fastball. They could have drafted him and then used him as leverage if other teams wanted to pay a premium for him.

 

I have no clue about how the Japan League draft (maybe you do?) but I tend to agree with you based only by what we know about the American MLB draft...Maybe though they just do things different over in Japan with regards to the amateurs?

 

This also could be a Rick Porcello type situation maybe where teams know he is the best player, but they would have no chance to sign him unless they offer huge (too much) money?

 

Who knows, but I'm sure if we are in on it he has been heavily scouted.

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Save the money for someone proven, or wait it out for Yu Darvish.

 

Is there any indication as to when Darvish will come across to the MLB?

 

His 2008 line for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters:

 

25 starts, 10 CG, 16-4, 200.2 innings, 208 strikeouts, 53 walks, 1.88 ERA

 

I expect Darvish to cost more than Dice-K. Loria won't even be able to afford his first autographed jersey.

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Save the money for someone proven, or wait it out for Yu Darvish.

 

Darvish is a god over here. Seriously, his face is on every vending machine I pass. I know there was a big article espn.com did about Bobby Valentine and Darvish. There's also a video clip of Darvish. It's quite long, and if I'm not mistaken, talked about the possibilities of him coming over here.

 

I usually talk baseball with the principal at my school, so tomorrow I'll ask if he knows anything about Tazawa.

 

EDIT: Found the Darvish article/video. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=darvish

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Save the money for someone proven, or wait it out for Yu Darvish.

 

Darvish is a god over here. Seriously, his face is on every vending machine I pass. I know there was a big article espn.com did about Bobby Valentine and Darvish. There's also a video clip of Darvish. It's quite long, and if I'm not mistaken, talked about the possibilities of him coming over here.

 

I usually talk baseball with the principal at my school, so tomorrow I'll ask if he knows anything about Tazawa.

 

EDIT: Found the Darvish article/video. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=darvish

 

Thanks for the video link! According to that video, his mom and dad met while attending school in Florida. Maybe he could be linked to the Marlins when/if he decides to depart Japan. Good stuff! Thanks again.

 

Matt

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I just find it hard to believe that every team in the J League decided to grant this kid his wish, even though he throws a 97mph fastball. They could have drafted him and then used him as leverage if other teams wanted to pay a premium for him.

 

I'm not an expert or anything, but Japan just does everything different. It's all about the team and not the individual. I've read in a couple books where players in Japan (especially foreigners) were benched for out-performing the other players too much. I'm serious. Those views could have changed, but it probably had something to do with his attitude about not wanting to play for a Japanese team and the possibility of him being disruptive to the team. I do agree with you though, it would have been smart to use him as leverage, but I just don't think that's how they do it over here. Obviously they have the contracting fee, but that's for already signed players. I could be 100% wrong, but those are just my observations.

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