Nikkan Sports is reporting that the Chunichi Dragons have signed Kenshin Kawakami (36) to a one-year deal worth an estimated 30M yen. An announcement of the deal could be made as early as today with a press conference in Okinawa on January 31 to [re]introduce Kakawami to the press. He will join the team from there.
The Dragons are also said to be interested in Kosuke Fukudome (34).
UPDATE @ 12:45pm - According to Sponichi, Kawakami worked out with Masahiro Yamamoto in Tottori this winter and was throwing at about 80%. Yamamoto also put in a good word with the team for Kawakami.
UPDATE @ 3:57pm - The Dragons apparently offered a one-year deal because they were concerned about his right shoulder.
"I spoke to [Kawakami] a little and he said he wanted to aim for more than 100 innings while pitching as a starter," said Takashi Ide (chief of team development).
Team rep Ryohei Sato added, "If his shoulder is good, we can stick him in the rotation. We will take a close look."
UPDATE @ 4:43pm - Kawakami is scheduled to arrive in Okinawa on January 30. He will then sign and be introduced on January 31.
UPDATE @ 8:17pm - Kawakami will get the number eleven.
UPDATE 1/29 @ 12:31am - The Dragons have posted an announcement at their team site.