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Chunichi Dragons sign Kenshin Kawakami to a one-year deal

by on Jan.28, 2012 @ 12:36 pm, under NPB

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.