Written By: Matt Vereb

Joel Sherman reported today that the Yankees are trying out, wait for it,……KEI IGAWA for their bullpen. Many will remember when the Yankees signed Igawa in 2006. The Japanese lefty netted a five-year, $20 million dollar contract(The Yanks had to post an addition $26 million to negotiate initially). So what has the $46 million dollar investment produced? In 71 innings with the Yankees, Igawa has allowed 89 hits and 54 runs resulting in a 6.66 ERA. Talk about bang for your buck, literally. Igawa spent the entire 2009 season in Triple A. He posted a 10-8 record, resulting in a 4.15 ERA. Far from dominant numbers.

So why are the Yankees interested in Igawa’s services? Besides the large price tag, the Yankees only have one servicable lefty in their pen, Damaso Marte. Marte recorded big outs in the post-season, but was often injured and somewhat unreliable during the regular season. Minor-leaguer Boone Logan is also expected to compete for a spot in the bullpen, but he won’t get an opportunity unless another pitcher gets injured. Logan will start the season in Triple A. Heading into the season, one would assume that Igawa is 3rd in that shallow pecking order.

So why Igawa? Given the amount of dollars they have invested in Igawa, the Yankees have every right to mold him into a somewhat-valuable piece to the puzzle. Given his sample size, I use the ‘somewhat-valuable’ term very liberally. He is just not a good Major League pitcher.

Ultimately, I don’t think Igawa will see the Bronx ever again. It’s an entertaining thought to salvage some value, but Igawa is awful and the Yankees just made a bad investment.  The pen is already overflowing with arms. There’s no spot for the ‘Igawa Experient’ coming off a championship season.  For every Kei Igawa, the Yankees have invested in an Andy Pettitte.