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December 7, 2010

Orioles talking with Braves about Kenshin Kawakami

According to industry sources, the Orioles and Braves have had multiple conversations about Atlanta starter Kenshin Kawakami, who is owed $6.67 million in the final season of a three-year deal.

Kawakami, 35, was 1-10 with a 5.15 ERA in 18 games, 16 starts, for the Braves in 2010, and also pitched five games in the minors last season. In his first year in the United States, Kawakami was 7-12 with a 3.86 ERA in 32 games (25 starts).

The Braves are looking to shed payroll while making room for their young starters while the Orioles would like to add a veteran to help take some pressure away from their young stable of pitchers.

Atlanta would likely pick up part of Kawakami’s 2011 salary. This isn’t the first time the Orioles have had interest in the right-hander. When he became a free agent and entered major league baseball in the 2008 offseason, the Orioles were highly intrigued but instead signed Koji Uehara to a two-year deal.

Uehara is a free agent but is good friends with Kawakami, so perhaps if Kawakami came to the Orioles, he would be another selling point in luring Uehara back.

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Posted by Dan Connolly at 1:46 PM | | Comments (34)


While it's very low-cost, those are not impressive numbers at all. Seems he could only hurt the team.

Kawakami, 35, was 1-10 with a 5.15 ERA.
You know, I kinda promised earlier to be more "Positive", but this could cause me to change my mind. However, I will show some discipline here, so I will respectfully poo poo this idea while being positive. So in that spirit, I am almost "Positive" that this isn't a "HOT" idea. And if Koji only is going to comeback because we're inviting a friend to the Oriole Party. I don't think that's fair or right for that matter. Koji should want to comeback because that is what he wants as well as the Orioles. He should not comeback because the Orioles are offering some sort of bonus program. This sounds like the federal government's "Cash for Clunkers Program". We offer cash for the Braves clunker. Aye Carumba!

ix nay on the Kawakami, meaning Just say No!

Dan -- If the Orioles get Kawakami, do you think he'd be given a chance compete for a spot in the rotation or would he be made a reliever from the get-go? Should the Braves pick up some of his salary, it would make the transistion to the bullpen much easier from the club's point of view. This trade definitely makes sense in terms of re-signing Koji and I'd think would make it almost a done deal, don't you?

Milwood II.

Sounds like AM's evil twin - the one that brought us Garrett Atkins - has broken out of Arkham again.

If they make this deal and it costs us more than an autographed Cal picture and a bucket of baseballs AM needs to retire!

PS - I think you mean Atlanta would pick up part of his 2011 salary. 2010 is in the books.
Reply from Steve Gould:
Fixed. Thanks for pointing it out.

I guess Meatloaf was right: two out of three ain't bad. I like both the Reynolds and Bartlett (if it happens) transactions, but I gotta scratch my head at this deal. 1-10, 5.15 ERA.....moving to the AL East. Really? We can sign Koji without him....just have to put the right package together. Squirrel....let's do lunch.

Surely, you can't be serious...

We did better with confederate money...

This is a joke, isn't it? 1-10 with an over 5 ERA, in the National League, where there's no DH? Has to be a joke. We should have the Braves pay us to take this guy. It would immediately upgrade their team. I am really hoping this is just a rumor.

KK is not all that bad. About half his starts this season were quality starts.

Biggest problem is pitch count. Typical line is 5-6 IP, 2-3 ER.

His run support was abysmal and wore him down. I think he rebounds with a fresh start.

B. Lech.

To follow up, 13 of 25 starts in '09 were quality. One game vs. Baltimore 6/13 was typical...5ip, 7h, 2er, 104 pitches, and no decision.

Someone says this sounds like Millwood II. I say Great! Where would we have been without Millwood last year? Who would have started those 31 games? Tillman? Patton? Gabino? Hendrickson? We didn't have anybody else, and as far as we know now, we still don't. I'd love it if Kawakami comes in and pitches every 5th day, while Atlanta foots part of the bill. Then if Tillman or Arrieta or somebody pushes him aside, then that's a good thing.

The Orioles can match this!

Jays will have to part with Drabek, Snider for Greinke

So why not do it?

Not sure I like this. He struggled in the NL East so I'd hate to see him in the AL East.

Sorry, I see no up side at all to Kawakami.  Just add the money you'd pay him to Koji's contract and he'll come back.

i think the orioles are just trying to stockpile enough japanese father figures to entice yu darvish into signing with us despite not even posting a bid next year. only to find out he's a heavy lean to clubs with iranian players.

Hello i am a Braves fan from Atlanta it would make my day if we traded Kawakami he is horrible i have watched him for the last two years and all of you will be disappointed when you see him pitch.

I am really starting to think we are going to have to wait til Angelos dies and his heirs finally sell the team before some real changes happen.


With all this MacPhail interest in Kawakami I'd guess that while Koji got a two year O's deal back in 2009, his interpreter must have gotten three. where is my bottle of scotch...

Has McPhail had a drug test lately?

Did he play for the Cubs??

@ Bob in Bama,

I think you are right that Kawakami needs a change of scenery.

I've seen him pitch and if he could get the pithc count down, I think he could be a nice back of the rotation starter.

Why don't the Orioles trade their beloved phenom Jim Hoey to the Rays for Bartlett. I know the Orioles think he's Mo Riveria, Rollie Fingers, Sparky Lyle etc. all rolled into one (except when he gets on a major league mound then he looks more like Elmer Fudd), but maybe they can convince the Rays to feel the same way they do.

As an O's fan living in the ATL I can say that this deal should be avoided at all costs. Kawakami is terrible, terrible, terrible. The stats give you a quick glimpse into how bad he is, but watching him over these past few years was truly an excruciating experience. Please don't bring him to the O's! The Braves #1 goal for the Winter Meetings was to get rid of him. That should say all we need to know about Kawakami.

Are Russ Ortiz and Bruce Chen and Sidney the Large not available?

This is the kind of move that has handcuffed the Birds for years. The idea that the team would give him a dime is idiotic. That the O's would part with a player — any player — for a 35-year-old who apparently can't get anyone out is even worse.


I know you're just reporting this, but in your opinion, under what logic does this make sense? Are they looking at Kawakami to replace Henderickson, or to use as a starter and replace Millwood? Either way, how is this an upgrade?

We should take this very seriously. He sounds like the type of unknown loser that piques McFailure's interest. After he is signed, McFailure will try to convince us that Kamikaze Kawasaki is the reincarnation of Cy Young.

porque? porQUE? PORQUE?

NO NO No No No!!!! I don"t normally repeat myself but! NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

Stop wasting time on someone like this, you just lost out on Konerko, Now go get Fielder, or trade for Young and make Reynolds play first. Put Pie Britton in a deal for Grienke.

this is crazy talk

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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