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Braves Lock Up Lowe, Kawakami

A while back, I reported that the Atlanta Braves were making a big effort to fill some holes in their pitching rotation. Well, it looks like they have been doing work.

The Braves and Japanese pitcher Kenshin Kawakami agreed to a 3-year deal. While in Japan, Kawakami won 112 games in 11 seasons. Last year, the 33-year old pitched for the Chunichi Dragons. The 5’10” pitcher is the first Japanese player in Braves franchise history.

Bobby Cox had this to say when asked about Kawakami: “He looked very good. He was able to throw the ball right where he wanted to with three or four pitches.”

The shopping spree did not stop there.  Derek Lowe arrived at Turner Field last week armed with agent Scott Boras and a hunger for a great opportunity…the Atlanta Braves gave him just that.  It is reported that the Braves and Lowe have agreed to terms on a 4-year deal worth $60 million. This deal will be finalized when the 35-year old passes a physical in Atlanta either today or Saturday.

Braves GM Frank Wren tried desperately this season to sign an ace pitcher. He tried to lock up Jake Peavy and A.J. Burnett, but failed.  Last season with the Dodgers, Lowe went 14-11 with a 3.24 ERA. In his last 10 starts, he went 6-1 with a 1.27 ERA.  Derek Lowe and recently acquired RHP Javier Vazquez should serve more than adequate roles in the advancement of Atlanta’s pitching core.