Igarashi on waivers
January, 13, 2011
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com
Sandy Alderson acknowledged earlier this week that Igarashi would soon be placed on outright waivers with the expectation he would clear because no other team would want to take on the reliever's $1.75 million salary. Assuming Igarashi clears, he will be in spring-training camp as a non-roster invitee.
Terry Collins believes his experience as a manager in Japan will allow him to maximize Igarashi's output. Collins' reasoning is that he knows how Japanese pitchers like to be used often.
Still, there's no assurance Igarashi is on the Opening Day roster. Francisco Rodriguez, Bobby Parnell, D.J. Carrasco and Buchholz would appear highly likely to occupy bullpen spots. The fifth spot could go to a left-hander: newly signed Taylor Tankersley or otherwise.
Under that scenario, if Pat Misch emerges as the long man, that leaves one spot for Rule 5 pick Pedro Beato, Manny Acosta or Igarashi in a seven-man bullpen, which is more common.
Assuming the remaining competitors are roughly equivalent, Igarashi would face an uphill battle. While Igarashi could be placed at Triple-A Buffalo already having cleared waivers, Acosta is out of options, so he would still need to go through the waiver process to be sent to the minors. And Beato would need to be offered back to the Baltimore Orioles if he doesn't make the squad. Acosta also has been relatively effective against left-handed batters, including a .163 opponent batting average from that side in 2010.