Pirates To Sign Ryota Igarashi

The Pittsburgh Pirates have an agreement to sign right handed pitcher Ryota Igarashi, according to The Jiji Press (via Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker).  The agreement is for a split contract, which usually means it’s a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training.

Igarashi previously played for the New York Mets where he combined for a 5.74 ERA in 69 innings, along with an 8.7 K/9 and a 6.0 BB/9 ratio. He made the jump from the Japanese leagues prior to the 2010 season, and the Pirates had interest in him at the time. He holds the record for the fastest pitch thrown by a Japanese pitcher at an NPB game at 98.75 MPH, although his average velocity in the majors has been 92.7 MPH.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Interesting to see Lowrie traded from the Red Sox for Melancon. Makes you wonder IF (big IF) we wanted to trade Hanrahan if we could have gotten Lowrie and more from the Sox.

F Lang

We could have but if you’re gonna trade Hanrahan you should at least get a player that starts.

Todd Smith

Lowrie last year: .252 AVG, .685 OPS, 6 HR, 36 RBI, -4.9 UZR at SS, 0.3 WAR
Cedeno last year: .249 AVG, .636 OPS, 2 HR, 32 RBI, 5.9 UZR at SS, 1.4 WAR
Barmes last year: .244 AVG, .698 OPS, 12 HR, 39 RBI, 7.9 UZR at SS, 3.1 WAR

No thanks on Lowrie.

F Lang

Not to mention Lowrie had one game where he was 5-5 with 2 doubles and 2 HR or something like that and in that week he hit .542 or something crazy. Take that away and he did nothing. I would love Lowrie as my util inf.  He is as good as you get in that role.  Especially in the NL. Houston has a very interesting and talented young infield.


Lowrie had a bad shoulder last year, he had a .900 ops in 2010. The glove is a bit of an issue, but he’s a much better option than Barmes or Cedeno.

I’d have glady taken Lowrie, Weiland, and 3rd prospect (or two C level guys like Lars) for Hanrahan.

F Lang

I don’t see Lowrie as much better than Barmes. Better?  Maybe. But it has yet to be seen with his .732 ops in a hitter’s park. …and he is almost 28 so it’s not like he is super young.


Don’t give up on the Bucs potentially dealing Hanrahan to the Red Sox.  Many feel that Melancon isn’t ready to be a closer in the AL Beast, so the Sox might not be done looking for a closer.  I’d love to see the Pirates acquire Ryan Lavarnway & a prospect or two from the Sox for Hanrahan.

F Lang

No doubt the Sox will want a better closer than Melancon


Def agree about Melancon. I wouldve taken a Lowrie Ranaudo Kalish deal in a second for Hanarahan. Not real big on Lavarnway, seems too much like Doumit to me IDK. I do think they still get a closer and Madson isnt him.
Once Fielder signs I think things will really start to open up. Creates a trade partner for the incumbent 1B, sets market for Lee Pena etc, and opens up lots of $ for whoever doesnt get him.


I wouldn’t have wanted Lowrie for Hanrahan. I would’ve expected the Cuban and a few other pieces.


It would be nice to see the Pirates get Darvish but I highly doubt they win the bid. 

F Lang

I would actually be disapointed if the Bucs went after Darvish. (Which they won’t anyways.) Bidding millions just to get to talk to an unproven player would completely trash what they are trying to accomplish.  Pirate fans need to understand this.

Dustin Berger

Bruce Chen is Panamanian


Wei yin chen


Dont if theyre from the same country or agent or team along the way but maybe this is just to help in luring other asian players. Becuase I’m sure they have the high bid on Darvish 😉 But this couldnt hurt with Chen I’d imagine.

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