Earlier in the day, I passed along an update from Patrick Newman over at NPB Tracker that Japanese free agent Junichi Tazawa had supposedly decided on signing with the Boston Red Sox. It does now appear that this is the case in this update from Newman.
Multiple Japanese media sources (Nikkan Sports, Mainichi, Sponichi) are reporting that Junichi Tazawa is set to sign with the Red Sox as early as December 1. Eneos manager Ohkubo is quoted as saying, “It felt like Tazawa is done negotiating with other teams”.
According the Nikkan Sports piece, Boston’s development plan was an important selling point for Tazawa. Also from Nikkan Sports, Tazawa is set to terminate his contract with the Japan Amateur Association, freeing him up to sign with an MLB organization.
As I said earlier, this is a low risk proposition for the Red Sox. You can amount it to a signing bonus for a #1 draft pick. If Tazawa is all that he’s cracked up to be, he should flourish in the Red Sox minor league system. Portland will be a good place to start because if you can pitch in the Eastern League, you can pitch in the big leagues.
It also goes to show you that you don’t need to overpay someone when Tazawa’s best offer was a 4-year $7 million deal from the Texas Rangers. He had also received a 4-year 5 $4-5 million deal from the Atlanta Braves. The Seattle Mariners had the same offer as the Red Sox, 3-years $3 million.