Kawakami outrighted to Mississippi

There is little reason to believe Kenshin Kawakami will be a part of the Braves rotation next year.  But the Japanese hurler continues to provide a burden to the clubs payroll as general manager Frank Wren attempts to determine how much money he has to satisfy offseason needs.

Wren’s attempts to trade Kawakami or sell him to a Japanese club have so far proven to be unsuccessful.  But the Braves have removed the 34-year-old hurler from their 40-man roster.

Kawakami passed through waivers and was sent outright to the Double-A Mississippi roster.   He  has gone 8-22 with a 4.32 ERA in 50 appearances (41 starts) since signing a three-year, $23 million contract with the Braves before the start of the 2009 season.

The Braves still owe Kawakami $6.67 million heading into the final year of this contract.

The Yomiuri Giants and Nippon Ham Fighters are among the Japanese clubs that are believed to have shown interest in Kawakami.  But another unidentified Japanese team provided the Braves reason to believe they would be willing to assume more of the $6.67 million figure than those two teams.

Kawakami has revealed that he does not like pitching in the Tokyo Dome, which serves as the home for the Yomuri Giants.  But if he remains with the Braves, he might have to find a liking to pitch in Minor League ballparks.
After Kawakami went 1-9 with a 4.48 ERA in his first 15 starts this year, the Braves put him in their bullpen and provided him just a one-inning relief appearance before optioning him to Triple-A Gwinnett in August. 

Given a chance to make an emergency start in place of an injured Derek Lowe on Sept. 3, Kawakami allowed the Marlins five earned runs and issued four walks in a 73-pitch, three-inning effort.   He would pitch just one more inning of relief before the season concluded. 

Instead of allowing Kawakami to pitch in place of an injured Jair Jurrjens, the Braves gave Brandon Beachy three starts during the regular season’s final two weeks.   Beachy, who was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2008, had made a total of 21 Minor League starts before being thrust into the thick of a pennant race. 

When the Braves traveled to San Francisco to begin their National League Division Series, they did not include Kawakami in their traveling party.  Once the regular season was complete, they told him he was free to return to his native Japan.     



Can’t we just trade him to someone like houston LAA KC Or balitmore? I mean package him with like Mclouth to the Yankees for like cash or something have them eat thier contracts.

Or how bout use him as like a long reliever or maybe use him as a closer like Balitmore did with Uherea. I mean have him Dunn or Venter compete for the closers job, or just trade him for like a bad pitcher.

We just need to get rid of him fast, and no..lets keep McLouth. Also, why trade him for another bad pitcher? I mean come on? You need to think before you speak on that one. We need our bullpen to stay good, if we want a shot at a WS.

Why the heck would laa, kc, or baltimore want to pick up a risky pitcher like kawakami who is owed 6.67 million next season? Truth is, no team found him valuable enough and thats why he cleared waivers. If there were a trade to be made, Wren would likely have to eat a good portion of the salary and we surely would not get much in return( unless the other team is just stupid) As for the yankees, although there salary is humongous, it would be incredibly dumb for them to take on kawakami and a man that batted a buck 90 for thirteen mil or whatever their total cost is.
I clearly see this move as a move that lets us know that Wren will be adding somebody to the 40 man roster soon via trade or free agency.

i must say that i find the way how kawakami is treated (both the braves organisation and the writers) extremely unfair. no reason to turn nasty with that comment about pitching in minor league ballparks.

that guy pitched a very respectable 4.32 era and it is hard to get wins without run support.

sure he earns too much money for a number 4 or 5 starter but whose decision was it to hand out that kind of contract?

the whole kawakami situation doesnt cast a positive light on the braves organization.

Why not keep him and see how he does as reliever who know he might be better off as a middle innings guys or a late innings guy.

NC – your posts are just confounding. I implore you to just stop posting on this blog. How old are you? Four? Focus on coloring inside the lines first. Just because Kansas City has been a bad team doesn’t mean that they’d be inclined to add expensive, bad players. And the Yankees aren’t in the business of helping other teams out with money issues. And why the hell would we put our worst player in one of the most important roles in the game (closing)? Let Venters, Kimbrel and Kawakami fight for the closer position?? Some competition.

And gobravzzz, I don’t think Mark was being “nasty” when he pointed out the fact that KK will be pitching in the minors if he stays here as is evidenced by his removal from the 40-man. I, like Mark, can’t believe KK would scoff at pitching in the Tokyo Dome when he’s now a Double-A pitcher here in the states. I don’t think there’s any shame on the Braves for trying to rid themselves of a costly hazard, either.

I predict Nate will have a good season next year. He was really having quality at-bats down the stretch of this season.

how bout Carlos Beltran for a CF or is he too much?

Face it, the Braves bought what they thought was Kobe beef over the internet, and got shipped ground round.

The AA move gets KK out of the thought process that he will be pitching in ANY parks he would prefer to the Tokyo Dome. If he sits there in AA the entire season and takes his money, all of that talk of “honor” from Godzilla’s neighbors loses a pile of credibility. Kawakami will not even excel at the AA level. He pitches just good enough to lose, period. At the end of the season he was giving the same level of effort I saw Javy Vazquez giving in NY after he was sent to the pen, ZERO.

The Japan pitching experiment has been a prolonged joke in the Major Leagues. From the fat Hideki in NY to Dice K, to KK and the rest of them, the money it has cost to get these guys here from Japan could have bought the entire island of Hispaniola.

Hopefully Bill he will take a backloaded contract and if Chipper does play then Prado could move to left field. But what do we give up to a division rival. I will say FW does not seem to mind to trade within the division which use to be a no no.

crazy time stamp

To all of you who defend the “White Haired Wonder”, this KK thing is looking like a really smart deal, huh? So what do we think about Uggla at 3rd? Very consistent RHB, plays well with others, knows FG well and Chipper is probably 33% to make it back. The only problem is that he blows Liberty’s extraordinary budget(tight wads)

Well, I was watching an interview with Frank Wren and he said the payroll is increasing slightly this year. I don’t know what that really means, considering we opened last year about $9 short of the previous year when the paayroll was supposed to stay the same. But it leaves a little wiggle room for optimism. A little.

Most of that $9 mill was insurance money for Hudson.

What bout and I know i will catch flack what bout going after someone like Andres Torres Aaron Rowand or the Kung Fu Panada from the giants? I mean if we are gonna trade with in the division why not go after Uggla Willingham or Beltran. But I am still on trading for Upton and signing Bill Hall to play LF and bringing up Teheran or delgado until Medlen comes back.

Giants aren’t trading Torres.
We had a chance to get Rowand years ago. Someone mentioned he wasn’t that great a clubhouse guy… not sure if that’s true or not.
Sandoval’s numbers took a HUGE dip this year. Can’t count on him rebounding.
Uggla… the Marlins wouldn’t be too bright to make that trade.
Willingham, maybe.
Beltran’s washed up.
Who to trade for Upton? And which Upton?
Bill Hall isn’t what we’re looking for and hasn’t been since 2006.
No sense rushing Teheran or Delgado since we’re not in dire need of starting pitching.

I will still defend the statements that MAYBE if KK got at least 2+ runs per game then his numbers would have been much better, both in wins, ERA, and innings pitched.
Rother, the “Japan pitching experiment has been a prolonged joke in the Major Leagues”? Really? You serious? There are 13 active players from Japan in the majors right now, and let’s see.. we have Kuroda in LA who has great numbers, Okajima has been very good in Boston, Takahashi in NY, Dice-K before he was injured, and of course Saito’s entire ML career. And just to throw it out there.. Ichiro, one of the greatest leadoff hitters of all time, maybe even better than Rickey Henderson and Pete Rose.

Retired Japanese-born pitchers of note:
Kazuhiro Sasaki – short career, but near the top of the AL in saves for 3 of the 4 years he played.
Shigetoshi Hasegawa – another pretty good reliever, one-time All-Star.
And, of course, Hideo Nomo.

And why would we want to trade for Uggla? Last time I checked, we have a very good 3B there already, and a very good 2B, neither of whom would cost us any prospects because.. they’re already on the team. Uggla is a terrible defender, so what would you do? Put him in LF to be even worse there? Or are the fans’ imaginings of the Braves 2011 lineup based on wishes of Chipper getting hurt? But really.. even Pat Burrell is a better option for 2011. His BA / OBP / SLG line was as good or even better than Uggla’s last season and Burrell has an advantage in LF, because well.. he has actually played in the outfield before. Oh, and Burrell is a free agent! Which means we don’t have to send a ton of prospects down the road to Florida for him, who we will have to play against for years to come.

Viva, it was only pitching I was talking about, although Ichiro is still the only impact player from Japan. The pitchers you have mentioned have been good, but not great. The money it has taken to get these “good” pitchers from Japan has been astronomical. What did it cost to get DiceK alone? Well over $103 million between the rights to negotiate and the actual contract for 6 years. If Derek Lowe is the poster boy for bad contracts to all Atlanta fans, then how can anyone call the DiceK signing a good deal? That was a huge amount of money to pay for one All Star level season for an otherwise .500 pitcher who nibbles way too much. Kuroda has a losing record in LA, averaging less than 10 wins a year. What do we pay American born players with those kind of numbers? Maybe 1/3 of what it took to get him to LA ($35.3 mil/3 yrs), after they finally get past arbitration. Don’t forget Kei Igawa and his $46+ million. He too is a AA-AAA level talent like KK and his $23+ million. How far does $210 million go in the Dominican Republic?
Bang for the buck, Japanese top line pitching free agents have been very expensive for the results they have provided. I won’t say they are all awful players because they are not, but there are significantly better ways to spend the money in baseball than on Japanese free agent pitching.

Well, I think that has more to do with the idiotic decisions of GMs, especially the ones in Boston, NY, and LA. Unfortunately, they have set the market value with those bad contracts.

Viva, Chipper hasn’t had a complete season for 2 years now. He is starting to make Garrett Anderson look nimble. He has a really slim chance of coming back from this injury given his history and age. Uggla isn’t so bad on defense that he shouldn’t be considered, I mean we signed Glaus, right? Uggla at the very least is an incredibly consistent run producer, something we sadly lack. Unfortunately we haven’t got an owner who can find two nickels to rub together. We should be the front runners in the Jayson Werth sweepstakes, but sadly, our owner has nixed that possibility before it got traction. I for one, will not pay one red cent into the Braves coffers until Liberty sells, do as you like my friends, but let the movement start here.

Jim, I hate to disagree with an impassioned fan, but here is the reality. The Braves have cut over 30 million dollars from their payroll in the last two years while maintaining the same or better revenue stream. Check it out. As to who to sell the team to, Mr. Blank invested money to make the Falcons better. He is invested in that team and would be a great owner for the Braves. Hell, i would really love to have Ted back. He can afford it and we all know he loves the game. These pinheads at Liberty got the Braves as part of a media buyout and could care less about this team. Not really a good formula for a sports franchise owner. And I will agree totally with your assessment of our posters with one exception. Brandon????? Our soccer star? Have you really read what he writes?

“Well, let’s name some trade targets. I can’t think of any right now”

By Brandon Woodworth on November 5, 2010 1:57 AM


Must have been past Brandon’s bedtime

Each of those markets have high Japanese populations, for what its worth. I understand increasing your revenue by reaching out to Japanese fans…I’m sure studies have been conducted that prove that it’s beneficial for a team to do so to garner capitol for salary on some level, but the price tags on some of those players do indicate an unreliable conversion quotient related to success rate. I mean KK WAS a repeat winner of the Japanese Cy Young, but considering his age and everything else, that doesn’t mean he will be a success against American pitching just as Tom Glavine might’ve faltered (even more) if his last couple years had been in Japan. I think Asian contracts (because I think Chinese ballplayers will come next) should have contracts structured so that players spend a probationary period in the American minors for at least a year before they are signed to Major League multi-year deals. I’m sure a number of them are already, but it seemed like an unnecessary leap of faith to sign KK for so much for having so little of what he could do to American hitters.

Dear JIm phelps if u dont like what i got to say then dont freaking read it or u can leave.

I just read that another team is interested in KK and seems to be wanting pitching that bad. I mean how nice would it be to see a team take on KK contract?

We have finally had our “Jump the Shark” moment in this blog. Apologies to Garry Marshall and the Fonz…

Also, I had the chance recently to speak with the head of Stadium Operations for the Braves who has held his position for over twenty years, and I asked him how he perceived the transition from Ted Turned to Liberty Media, and he said that it was nearly seamless, that Liberty Media entrusted the organization of the Braves to run without any real oversight from the suits at Liberty. Which is cool I thought. But I think Jim is right – the onus is particularly on fans to generate capital. We shouldn’t complain that there’s not enough money for our team until our team has sell out fields every night of the season. Ordinarily I’d predict we’d have better attendance next year than this because of our relative success, but this being a transition year from Bobby to Freddi, it’s hard to say. But in the 90s, we rocked Fulton County and Turner Field (which, in retrospect, might too have been some novelty factor) because we were consecutive and proven perennial winners: From worst to first to back-to-back WS participants. So that’s what we need. Winning and fan faith, in no particular order. It’s unfair, Reef, to boycott the team until it gets more money. You don’t need big names or super contracts to win; they help. But Bruce Bochy, Billy Beane, Bobby Cox, and John Schuerholz have proved that they’re not necessary.

Ok if the Braves and the Nationals are intrested in Uggla why not make a three team deal that will make both teams happy. It has been clear that Uggla doesnt want to play the outfield so why not send Beachy Jose Orentago and Nate Mclouth for Uggla and Emilo Bonifacio then The Braves send Uggla Diory Hernandez and Cody Johnson for Josh Willingham and Alberto Gonzalez. Now this trade can work out bc the Marlins need a proven Cf even though Mclouth had a bad year doesnt mean much bc he still a better option then what the Marlins got, and the Braves get both a CF and a LF plus a rh bat to come off the bench in Alberto Gonzalez.

NC, you don’t realize that every other regular poster on here feels the same as Jim? Your schtick is getting old, kid. Mark needs to construct a kiddie corner for your posts so they don’t clog up the rest of the conversation. I hate to finally say this.. but guys I think we need to start clicking the “abuse/spam” link on our old friend. Euthanasia may be the only viable option.

Well, wise old bill, give us your assessment. By assessment, I mean your prediction of the trade or signing we are going to make, noble prophet. Not you continuously bitching about the same thing for months at a time that you have no control over. If you want payroll, jump on the Phils blog, which you do ever so often(because you need to spread the bitching wealth, apparently). If you want to be a fan, push past your criticism and use that tiny diseased brain you have, and come up with something better. You claim to be a fan, but all you ever do is complain. Life sucks sometimes, bro. Get the hell over it. If you don’t like the payroll, start a corporation, make it successful, and donate your profits. That’s the only way you’re changing the payroll. I hate not having Yankee’s money either, but I get over it, because I’m a true fan.

Now tell us, whose it gonna be that turns our offense around?

No to BJ Upton. I don’t care about his upside. We don’t need another Kenny Lofton that would be “unhappy” here and give half effort (I know he hit .300 here, but he was still unhappy and didn’t give his best). BJ is not worth our time. I would rather see Justin. I hate giving up pitching prospects but it may be necessary in this case. But with both Jair and Tommy having Boras as an agent, we need to keep as many SP prospects as we can. It is a sad case of events that only Jason Heyward is a sure thing in our outfield next year. Barring McLouth becoming comeback player of the year, its going to be a thorn in our side all next season unless something changes.

I am with Brandon why not try and go after Justin without selling the farm maybe dangle one of the other of Teharen Delgado or Vicaino. But the thing is can we afford his contract. I mean giving up the players is no biggie in my eyes but can we afford him is the key. I think sending Teharen Beachy and either Cory Harrilchak or Edward Salcedo to get Upton and Tony Abreu

The Brandon and nc mutual admiration association . You guys deserve each other. Yikes.

Nc at least TRIES to be productive. We’ve got slim pickings this winter. Uggla would be a great addition, but he would need to be the one to go to LF. We cannot add his glove to our infield defense. Freemans gonna be great, Prado is a strong defender, Gonzalez is above average, Chipper will be meh. We need to leave it that way. B.J. Upton would be a bigger question mark, but would be a better all around player if he plays to even 75%of his potential. Outside those trade targets, we have Pat Burrell, Magglio Ordonez, and that’s about it. We have a shot a t Burrell, but no one wants him. We have virtually no shot at Mags, due to the bloody payroll we keep hearing about. So if anyone has a better idea on a RH outfielder(hear that, nc?), please present it. If not, pray to your respective God’s that whoever we get ends up being Aubrey Huff rather than Garret Atkins.

Word from the winter meetings right now is that Justin Upton is now available. We’d have to sell the farm though. No one seems to be keen on that idea… I personally would not mind giving up ONE of Minor, Teharen, Delgado, or Vizcaino.

His contract, position, years, age, and talent are all upsides. Prospects are only downside. We will do this deal if we want to win in 11. If we don’t, we obviously don’t want to contend in 11. I’ll still be a fan, no matter what.

Let’s get Justin AND BJ Upton. We could trade away the entire minor league system and without any prospects we wouldn’t have to hear anymore proposals from good ol’ NC.

Yea but unlike Tex, Upton wont be one and done he’ll be there for a longer time so why not sell the farm. Jair Jurjjens Beachy Edward Salcedo and Andrelton Simmons. Then instead of signing Vasquez sign someone cheaper like Webb or Millwood.

I am with Brandon why not try and go after Justin without selling the farm maybe dangle one of the other of Teharen Delgado or Vicaino. But the thing is can we afford his contract. I mean giving up the players is no biggie in my eyes but can we afford him is the key. I think sending Teharen Beachy and either Cory Harrilchak or Edward Salcedo to get Upton and Tony Abreu

Yea but unlike Tex, Upton wont be one and done he’ll be there for a longer time so why not sell the farm. Jair Jurjjens Beachy Edward Salcedo and Andrelton Simmons. Then instead of signing Vasquez sign someone cheaper like Webb or Millwood.

That’s not enough to get Upton. Add Kimbrel and/or JJ to Teheran / Beachy / Dunn and that might be enough. This would be a Tex like trade scenario. You would have to throw everything at the DBags to get Upton.

But the upside is that ulike Tex Upton will stay longer and I bet can be a career Brave and maybe the key piece to get them a W.S. But what kind of package will get the Dbacks willing give up Upton. I mean JJ Beachy . Edward Salcedo
Cory Harrilchak and Zeke Spruill for Upton and Tony Abreu. Then sign someone like Francis or Millwood.

I haven’t posted the idea on here, I believe it was on MLBTradeRumors, but looks like Mike Dunn is in the package to land Uggla. Who else is in that package, you say? Omar Infante, the guy I suggested trading(albeit, it was in a hypothetical Colby Rasmus trade) because his stock was so high. It almost like what I say kind of does make sense, doesn’t it bill?

Official now Viva.

OK, I think getting Uggla is still kinda retarded.. but for Omar and Dunn that’s a pretty damn good deal, if it’s true.

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