Update 2:05 PM: Kevin Burkhardt says from what he’s been told Takahashi is NOT a bullpen option because he’s not a power arm plus he struggles against lefties. He’s a Tom Glavine type that either makes the Met SP rotation or is gonna be sent to Buffalo as SP insurance. (hat tip to Sach)
Original Post 1:52 PM
According to David Waldstein of the NY Times , the Mets appear ready to sign left-hander Hisanori Takahashi to a Minor League contract, citing a source in baseball with knowledge of the situation.
Takahashi, who was 10-6 with a 2.94 ERA in 2009, has apparently chosen the Mets over similar Minor League offers from the Dodgers, Red Sox, Orioles and Padres. The offer is reportedly worth about $1 million if he makes the big league team, with an additional $500,000 in performance bonuses.
Takahashi, 34, has spent the past 10 years with the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants. He would become the second Japanese pitcher to sign with the Mets this winter, following Ryota Igarashi, who signed in December.
Interesting note from MLB.com who writes that dating back to 1997, the Mets have signed more players out of Japan than any other team in baseball, with Igarashi being the 10th.
This might signal the end for the Mets’ pursuit of John Smoltz. I’m sure that Takahashi will be given every chance to compete for the Mets’ fifth starter’s job, and even if he fails to nab a rotation spot, he could be used out of the bullpen as the second lefty after Pedro Feliciano. He is said to throw 86 to 90 mph and has five pitches in his arsenal.
Considering the Mets are paying very little, it’s a good signing.