Monday, December 01, 2008

Surprise, Surprise: Tazawa Signs With the Sox

Welp...looks like we got ourselves another pitcher. Actually, we've got ourselves another two pitchers, but anyone excited about Wes Littleton and his rapidly declining ERA+ and climbing WHIP might need to get themselves treated for baseball withdrawal. But no, the pitcher in question is, of course, the result of Boston's far eastern fishing expedition, the man who landed in Boston so he could (supposedly) pitch with idol Daisuke Matsuzaka: Junichi Tazawa.

Frankly, I don't know what to make of Tazawa: the Globe reports that in addition to a low-90s fastball, "[Tazawa] is said to have good command of both a breaking ball and changeup, the latter reportedly having the action of a split-fingered fastball," but then they go on to use Craig Hansen as a precedent for signing an amateur to a major league contract...and we all know how that experiment turned out (whether or not you want to blame Hansen's ultimate failure in a Sox uniform on his own inabilities to adapt to major league hitting or his overexposure in 2006 is a point for debate, but the end result is the same). Tazawa will start out in the minors and his contract is a paltry $1 million a year, so I guess if he doesn't pan out it won't be a big loss.

The real Hot Stove starts when, now?