Friday, December 05, 2008

More On Red Sox Pitcher Junichi Tazawa

The Boston Red Sox made the formal announcement to the press on Thursday that Junichi Tazawa has signed a three year deal with the club. He will receive a $1.8 million dollar signing bonus and be paid $450,000 in 2009, $500,000 in 2010 and $550,000 in 2011. That's life changing money for the young righthander who will start out in the minor leagues. Here's part of what he had to say at the signing announcement...

"The reason I came directly to the United States is I wanted to try to play here," Tazawa said through a translator at a press conference at Fenway Park today. "I wanted to challenge myself. I think there is a definite influence of having Daisuke Matsuzaka play here," Tazawa said. "To me he is the best player and to be able to learn from him is an incredible opportunity for me."

Theo Epstein also had a few words to say to the gathered media members. Here is part of them...

"He projects to be very versatile, but we're going to start him off as a starting pitcher," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said. "We'll certainly give him every chance to start. To me this is a story about Junichi wanting to challenge himself at the highest level of baseball. He had that desire. He expressed his desire," Epstein said. "We wanted to provide that opportunity.
He can hit his spots, and he's got outstanding makeup on the mound," Epstein said. "We think he's a solid prospect. Where he starts out remains to be seen."

Peter here, and this is yet another piece of good off season news for the Sox. Nothing BIG has happened yet, but that's what the winter meetings and beyond hold in store for us. Boston has bolstered their bullpen with the acqusition of Ramirez and has added little pieces here and there to improve the team. As they say, so far, so good. Now how about a power packed gold glove switch hitter and another starting pitcher? Theo Epstein has said that it's possible the Sox might sign Varitek AND another catcher...the difficulty in catching the Wakefield knuckleball, believe it or not, is a potential stumbling block for many catchers out there. We all know Kevin Cash can do the job once every five days with the dancing offerings of Timmy, but the Red Sox might be looking at others. I have a feeling Jason Varitek WILL be a member of the 2009 Boston Red Sox team...I'm just about positive. We'll all find out SO much more next week, live from Las Vegas. Hey, if you can't be there, stop in here, early and often!

You can title click for all the latest on Tazawa and 'Tek, and as always, BE WELL. Shalom. I'd love to see some comments...I'll respond to every one of 'em. That's a promise.

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