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Red Sox Make Offer to Japanese Righty Tazawa

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.

2 replies on “Red Sox Make Offer to Japanese Righty Tazawa”

This situation gets very tricky, actually. In negotiating with Tazawa, the Red Sox have officially broken an informal agreement between Major Leagues and Japanese Leagues not to try and steer away each other’s amateur talent. By doing so, the Red Sox have opened what could be a flood gate of Japanese teams with lots of money to come over here and sign guys directly out of high school for 5-6 years. Sure, most American teens dream to play in the MLB, but whose to say that throwing a boatload of money at a kid and having him mature in the Japanese Leagues when he should be in a Major League organization, wont sound enticing?

As Peter Abraham said, “this is going to be a mess for the MLB which can’t force the Red Sox to adhere to a rule that doesn’t officially exist.” And it could take years before we actually see the effect of this. But needless to say, the Red Sox have once again proved that they are the new evil empire.

I hope the Seibu Lions pilfer their future HS draft picks…

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