I’ve been advocating patience, but honestly I’m a little bummed out about this one. NPB Tracker is saying it is believed to be a 3 yr. /$24 M deal. His park/league neutral CHONE projection calls for FIP’s of 3.99, 4.06 and 4.09 over the next three seasons. CHONE believes he’ll only reach 122 innings, and then 110 and 98 from there, which is pretty pessimistic. If that’s what he does, then the contract is a moderate bargain, but if he throws 160+ innings per year, it’s a great buy on Atlanta’s part. Kawakami would be worth 2.5 to nearly 3 wins annually in that case.
Unless Kawakami really wanted to go to Atlanta for some reason, or there’s some sort of injury concern I don’t know about, I believe Mo missed the boat. Barring a trade, he’s now left with free agent pitchers who are either out of his price range or too mediocre to really matter.