The Boston Red Sox, one of the top clubs when it comes to recruiting overseas talent, appears to be at it again. The BoSox have reportedly offered a contract to Japanese right-handed pitcher Junichi Tazawa, who pitched for the Nippon Oil team in Japan’s Industrial League. Tazawa, 22, allegedly has a fastball that tops out at 97 mph. One report stated that Tazawa met with Craig Shipley (Red Sox vice president of international scouting_. The Red Sox are already proud owners of Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima: two successful pickups from Japan.
Two major media sources in Japan have published contract amounts. Sankei Sports newspaper is reporting a $6 million deal while Nikkan Sports is reporting $3 million over 3 years; of course none of these amounts have been reported by the Red Sox or the MLB.
The only difference between Tazawa and Matsuzaka is that Tazawa played in an amateur league and has never played professional baseball.
Other teams reportedly interested in Tazawa are the Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers, and Seattle Mariners.