It appears that the Texas Rangers are interested in former Hiroshima Carp, Colby Lewis.
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are exploring a possible reunion with pitcher Colby Lewis, who has spent the past two years in Japan.
Lewis, who pitched for the Hiroshima Carp, wants to return to the United States, and the Rangers have some interest.
"We've developed our Pacific Rim operation the last few years, and our guys have built a solid foundation both with relationships and from a scouting perspective," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "I expect we'll be selectively involved with the right players coming over. We're aware of Colby's situation, and obviously know him from when he was in the organization."
=== UPDATE 1/16/2010 3:42pm JST
Looks like it's a done deal.
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have reached a preliminary agreement with free-agent right-handed pitcher Colby Lewis on a two-year contract, according to industry sources.
According to FOX Sports, it seems like it might be a contract worth $5M yen with up to $500,000 in performance bonuses.
I'm very interested in seeing how Colby transitions to the MLB after having two solid season with the Carp. My guess: Colby had good control numbers in Japan (46 walks in 354.1 inning; 1.2 BB/9) and didn't give up to many hits either (307; 7.9 H/9). He also averaged better than a strike out per inning (369 over 354.1 innings; 9.4 K/9).
While his K rate may drop and his hit rate may go up, as long as he keeps his walk rate down, I think he'll find some success in the Majors. My biggest concern would be his stamina. He only spent 2 seasons in Japan so maybe he'll be alright.
(Thanks to a reader for the heads up on this story.)