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Kei Igawa News and Notes: January 21, 2012

by on Jan.21, 2012 @ 2:24 pm, under MLB, NPB

According to Sponichi, the Orix Buffaloes are still very much interested in Kei Igawa.

"If he decides to play in Japan, we will do our best to make sure he joins our team," said team rep Yoshio Murayama.  "I think he knows we are interested.  If he is also interested, we will present him with a solid offer."

Both the Rakuten Eagles and Hanshin Tigers avoided making any binding comments.

A number of additional quotes from Igawa have also surfaced:

I have not received any specific offers.  It is a good thing to be wanted, but I have not been able to show [people in American] how much I have grown the last five years so returning to Japan [right now] might be a little difficult [for me].  Daily Sports

As long as they give me a shot [at pitching in the Majors].  It does not have to be as a starter. ... Even if I hold teams to zero during exhibition games, I probably will not make the opening day Major League roster.  But it is a good opportunity to pitch well in front of the coaches.  That is important. ... Even with a start in the minors, there will be chances when players start getting injured in April, May.  Nikkan Sports

Starting spring training in the minors leaves very little chance to make the Major League roster.  I will consider Japan If there are no opportunities for me to pitch at the Major League level.  Sponichi

UPDATE @ 1/21 - According to Nikkan Sports, the Buffaloes will leave one spot on the 70-man roster open for Igawa until the end of July.