Monday, October 30, 2006

Haro, my name is Akinori...

From mlbtraderumors.com: 27 year-old Japanese third baseman Akinori Iwamura is being pursued by both the Phillies and the Indians. (The Indians!?!? Yeah, their Japanese imports made quite an impact. See below.) Pat Gillick mentioned that he has a lot of interest in Iwamura to play third for the Phils. You may recall that Gillick imported Ichiro back when he was GM of the Mariners. Another convenient factor is that manager Charlie Manuel has played in Japan before (picture proof below.) Manuel played for the Kintetsu Buffaloes and Iwamura's current team, the Yacult Swallows (I have to meet this Yacult person...)

First things first, what will it take to get Iwamura? Well, the Phils would have to win the bidding for the rights to negotiate with Iwamura, for which I've read varying estimates on the 'net, with some as high as $10 million. I'm guessing his posting fee is around $5 mil with an annual salary of close to that per year (Johjima got a little over $5 mil a year for 3 years, as a comparison.)

Next, if the Phils would get Iwamura, exactly what the hell are they getting. He's a 27 year old 3B/2B who's last three years in the Japanese league look like this: .300-44-103, .319-30-102, .309-32-77. He slugged between .540-.580, got on-base around .380, and had a 2 to 1 K:BB ratio. He also is reportedly a "gold glove" caliber 3B. Of course, Bobby Abreu and Derek Jeter both have gold gloves, so I don't know if that is a good attribute or not. Compared to other Japanese imports, his power numbers are better than Tadahito Iguchi and slightly less than Kenji Johjima. Both those players seem to be solid .280-20-70 players in the majors. But to say Iwamura would put up those numbers is slightly more complicated and less predictable than that. Just ask the Mets, Kaz Matsui's power went from 30 homers in Japan to 3 in Colorado. Ouch.

It is definately a risk. But if the Phils can't get A-Ram, I wouldn't mind seeing the Phils take this kind of gamble, if only to see the Phils be pro-active, rather than no-active. It's like seeing a little kid try to walk and fall flat on his face. Sure, he may just broken his tiny little nose, but at least he isn't that little fat kid who's to busy eating potato chips to even try (Ed Wade was that kid, except he wasn't fat, he just looked like a scrotum.) The worst thing that can happen is they find out he did Japanese gay porn....or that he is the Japanese Danny Tartabull. Danny-son!!!

Corey

I acutally found a Tartabull Phillies pic!

11 comments:

BenJah said...

as long as the price is reasonable, that would be fine. but lets make sure we have a servicable bench player who can fill in. maybe nuni on a part time role, or derosa as a super-utility player. the K's scare me, but he is probably young enough to still improve.

BenJah said...

how do you say 'cheesesteak wiz wit' in japanese??

Bob D said...

Yaculta Swallows? Isn't that in the running for team name of Allentown's team?

Can't wait to hear the fan clubs name for him.

XXX said...

Very good post, Corey.

GM-Carson said...

another upside to having akinori-son, a little less rawlings, spalding, majestic, franklin, louisville slugger, etc. and a lot more MIZUNO! Mizuno mad a big push in the 90's with the fluorescent batting gloves but where has the mizuno gone? it's still big in japan. if this dude come to philadelphia, i will welcome him and his mizuno equipemnt.

corey

GM-Carson said...

I still use the Mizuno mitt to play catch...great leather, but has a raw fish smell to it.

If we can't get A-Ram, this Jap seems good enough. Wait, is "Jap" politically incorect? Maybe I should have said "Nip" or "Slant-Eyes"...dammit I can never get what they want to be called straight, just like those freakin midgets, pigmys, runts, little people, dwarves, crotch-sniffers...whatever.

Bring on new 3rd baseman!

~Carson

BENTZ said...

I thought the best Japanese player to play for the Indians was Isuro Tanaka...who consistently ran into walls, leading to the famous line from Harry Doyle - "Maybe in Japan that's better than actually catching the ball."

das411 said...

This works. Use the $$ cleared from Abreu this season and Burrell next to cover this guy and find a Batista-type bullpen arm or two.

Does anybody else vaguely remember hearing rumors of the Phils being interested in Otsuka? Of course this was when his value was high last winter as opposed to now...which might make this the best time to "overpay" him...

BloodStripes said...

DQ, that must be the sushi mitt. Very good model. Or maybe you have the whale oil model. Nothing like a good whale kill to get some glove oil. Aside from glove oil and whale burgers its all for scientific purposes of course.

If ack ack Akinori doesn't eat whale meat I'm all for him coming to Philly. More international blood is a good thing. A high average and good glove and we will be happy. Seems worthy of a try.

GM-Carson said...

Damn BloodStripes sounds like you want to give International Delite coffee creamer a run for their money. Let's get a Jap, Korean, Aussie, Canadanadanadaianaian, Puerto Rican, Somalian, Somoan, Russian, Etheopian...let's go all out!

~Carson

BloodStripes said...

The Phils need an Aussie in the lineup. Then the team will be set.