Thursday, December 13, 2007

Lost in the Shuffle

Lost in the Mitchell Shuffle was the news that the Rangers released Akinori Otsuka. I believe they are on the verge of signing former Rakuten closer Kazuo Fukumori, so they drop one Japanese reliever in favor of another. The Yankees might want to think about Otsuka as a short term bullpen guy. He'll be 36 before the start of next season, and he's coming off an injury plagued 2007, but he's a gifted pitcher with a successful past.

Career, between San Diego and Texas, Otsuka posted a 2.44 ERA in 232 innings of relief. He saved 32 games for Texas in 2006 and sports a G/F ratio of 1.70 over 4 seasons. His strikeout rate has plummeted in recent years, but his G/F has simultaneously risen to almost 2.00 at the same time. He has held batters to a batting line of .222/.289/.311 career. His 2007 salary was $3 million, but you have to think he'd take less to pitch for the Yankees after his injury plagued year last season.

Offer him $2.5 million for one season and bring him in. You could do a lot worse in this market and what do you have to lose? Get on the phone Cashman.


RollingWave said...

There is the issue of lack of 40 man roster, though i wouldn't mind the least in dropping Sean Henn for Otsuka.

it should be noted though, that maybe one of the reason they dropped him is because he might need TJ surgery.

if that isnt the case though, then the Ranger's decision to take Fukimori but non-tender Otsuka is very weird to say the least, we saw quiet a few golden eagles game here in taiwan over the last couple of year (because they have a couple of Taiwanese pitcher, though both bombed so far.. araggh.. and really watching them is torture ) and Fukumori is basically umm.... a much suckier version of Brad Lidge. decent stuff and occasional brilliance but he's head simply isn't screwed on strait, Kei Igawa might have better makeup than this guy.

As long as Otsuka's medical record is sound enough i definately agree we could use him.

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