Saturday, January 10, 2009
NL EAST NEWS: BRAVES SIGN JAPANESE HURLER KAWAKAMI
While they battle the Mets for the services of free-agent pitcher Derek Lowe, the Atlanta Braves made a major move today, signing right-handed starter Kenshin Kawakami to a three-year contract, according to mlb.com. Kawakami is 33 years old and pitched the last 11 years for the Chunichi Dragons of the Japanese Central League. He was 9-5 last year with a 2.30 ERA and his repertoire includes a fastball in the low-90s, a cutter and a slow curve. Kawakami enjoyed his best seasons in 2004 and 2006, when he won 17 games in each of those years.
In 2004, Kawakami won the Sawamura Award for best pitcher and the Central League Most Valuable Player Award. Kawakami also has big-game pitching experience, having thrown games in the 2004 and 2006 Japan Series, helping lead the Dragons to the title in the latter year.
Posted by Gil Griffin at 6:12 PM