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.

Hat tip to the ever vigilant Mr. Walton for this one:

The Japan Times says that Kenshin Kawakami has narrowed his options to the Orioles, Cardinals and Twins.  Ooh! Ooh! Pick B! Pick B! Sean (Chone) Smith ran projections on the incoming NPB pitchers and Kawakami’s are pretty darn good.

  • 122 IP – 125 hits – 15 HR- 32 BB- 105 K – 4.13 ERA – 3.86 FIP - 2.1 WAR (Forgive me for my ingorance of code.)

Put him in Busch III with the steady Cardinal defense behind him and he should be able to post some solid numbers. Before you write off the notion of projecting Japanese league players, Chone did quite well projecting Hiroki Kuroda’s rookie season-

2008 Kuroda:

  • CHONE: 179 IP – 181 H – 20 HR – 49 BB – 125 K – ERA 3.97 
  • Actual: 183.1  IP- 181 H – 13 HR -42 BB – 116 K ERA 3.73

Unless the Orioles make a big offer which Kawakami can’t refuse, I can’t see him going anywhere else but St. Louis. Minnesota doesn’t need him with their rotation, and we know they don’t spend in free agency. We’ll see how this all plays out. In my view, Kawakami represents the best available arm on the B list of free agent starting pitchers. That B list includes Randy Wolf, Jon Garland, Oliver Perez and our old pal Braden Looper. If Kawakami can manage throw 180-190 innings, he could be 2.8 WAR pitcher.

© 2011 Gas House Graphs Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha