Despite Mets reports, Japanese media has Red Sox in the lead for Igarashi with a 2-year, $2-3m deal. http://bit.ly/5unDYw
If you clicked on that link you may notice is it not in English. In fact, it is not. Good job! It's actually in Japanese. So I emailed our resident Japanese expert, Brian Jackson. Jackson, who speaks Japanese fluently, translated for us:
the article basically says:
the Red Sox offered Igarashi a two year deal reportedly worth 2 - 3 million dollars. the Mets and Phillies have made offers too but the Red Sox are the front runners right now. He trains at the same place as Dice-K, who has described Red Sox camp to him.
The Red Sox have Papelbon, Okajima and Bard who are solid, but they are looking for someone reliable to pitch the 6th and 7th innings.
One point of appeal to Igarashi is that with Dice-K and Okajima already on the team, they would be the first American team with three Japanese pitchers.
He went with Dice-K to the Athletes Performance Institute in Phoenix today to start training to be in shape for camp.
The Mets and Phillies are still possibilities but the Red Sox appear to be in the lead. Igarashi says that American teams change their minds a lot, so you don't know what's going to happen until you sign.
Oh those bipolar American teams...
It seems like the Red Sox seem like a natural fit for Ryota Igarashi. Damn.