Trade-bait pitcher Kawakami starts Sunday vs. Phillies

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – The Braves are still trying to trade Kenshin Kawakami, who’ll have his highest-profile appearance of the spring when he starts Sunday against Philadelphia in a 1:05 p.m. game to be shown nationally on the MLB Network.

Kawakami had originally been scheduled to start Monday night in the Braves’ last spring-traniing game in Florida before they return to Atlanta for two exhibition games against Minnesota Tuesday and Wednesday.

He was switched to Sunday to replace Mike Minor, who was optioned to Triple-A on Thursday when Brandon Beachy was declared the winner of the No. 5 starter competition. In Monday’s game, the Braves will start a minor leaguer to be determined.

Kawakami, 35, was two weeks late to spring training because of visa issues in Japan. He has a 2.25 ERA in eight innings over four spring games (one start), charged with seven hits, four runs (two earned) and two walks with four strikeouts.

His late arrival to camp has made it even tougher for the Braves to try to find a suitor willing to trade for the veteran right-hander and pick up any significant portion of the $6.7 million he is owed in the final season of his three-year contract.

Kawakami was 1-10 with a 5.15 ERA in 2010, after going 7-12 with a 3.86 ERA in his first season in the majors in 2009. The Braves dropped him from the 40-man roster after last season and outrighted him to Double-A Mississippi.

21 comments Add your comment

Piedmont Blues

March 26th, 2011
4:57 pm

Early! With the injuries to Bailey and Cueto, perhaps the Reds will kick the tires on Kawakami. I have no idea what the Braves could get in return other than salary relief, of course. (Jonny Gomes might work. Just kidding.)

The Grinch

March 26th, 2011
4:57 pm

C’mon, someone; he comes with a translator and 10 Asian reporters!


March 26th, 2011
5:25 pm

Kawakami = Nauseous


March 26th, 2011
5:33 pm

Hopefully, Krapakawi will pitch wel and someone will be foolish enough to offer to pay 2 mil of the contract. Or 1.2 mil. We should take any serious offer over 1 mil and run with it before they change their minds.

Same with Rodrigo. Any offer of bats and balls, or a concession stand worker. Anything.


March 26th, 2011
5:41 pm

Big Dude

March 26th, 2011
6:06 pm

The Braves just might have to bite the bullet on this one. Cut your loses and move on.


March 26th, 2011
7:05 pm

The bottom line is that Kawakami isn’t a ML pitcher and every other GM knows it. They probably wouldn’t get any takers if they gave him away for free. Expecting salary relief for him….well, it ain’t gonna happen.

In an unrelated side note, I see Mike (Glass Man) Hampton finally made his retirement official. It’s about time because the guy “retired” years ago!!!!

Baseball scribe

March 26th, 2011
7:28 pm

Kawakami is 8-22 over the past two seasons. Those eight teams he beat should be ashamed of themselves.

Him Tudson

March 26th, 2011
8:54 pm

Frank Wren will never hear the end of this signing. As well he shouldn’t.

KK’s not as bad as all that, but even his supporters/excuse-makers couldn’t honestly say that he has “good stuff” out there on the mound. He’s got the stuff of Miguel Batista, minus the confidence. If he won’t go down to AAA, cut him loose and eat the loss. ‘Cause, believe me, Wren’s loss is the Braves gain here.

David O'Brien

March 26th, 2011
9:40 pm

Kawakami is 8-22 over the past two seasons. Those eight teams he beat should be ashamed of themselves. — Baseball scribe

You’re quite the scribe.

Among the eight teams he beat: Boston Red Sox (allowed two hits and two runs in six innings at Fenway Park in his only start against them), Toronto Blue Jays (allowed three hits and no walks in eight scoreless innings to beat Roy Halladay), Philadelphia Phillies (1-1 in three starts against them), Detroit Tigers (allowed two hits and one run in seven innings of only start against them) and Chicago Cubs (1-0 with a 2.77 ERA in two starts).


March 26th, 2011
10:08 pm

Dave – I always appreciate it when you respond to bloggers’ ignorant statements with facts like you did above. Keep up the good work.


March 26th, 2011
10:25 pm

I gotta agree,
KK is far better than his record shows and any team would be stealing him at a million or 1.5. We happen to be fortunate enough with our depth in pitching. Mark my words, another team will benefit from this.

Clayton H

March 26th, 2011
10:39 pm

No question that KK hasn’t been worth 7 mil per year and has been very frustrating for us Braves fans. Having said that, he is not a terrible pitcher and I think he can be a good back-end starter. Obviously his days in Atlanta are numbered, but I would not be surprised at all if he becomes a very capable major league pitcher elsewhere.


March 26th, 2011
10:55 pm

KK wasn’t that bad…. at least his efford is always 100%…He could have won 15 last season if the Braves support him like they scored with Lowe on the mound…I can name at least 10 lazy bums who made 7+ mil last year…

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

john norris

March 27th, 2011
8:54 am

I think the braves need jonny gomes to replace joe mather because he strugled in
spring training we need a righthanded bat off the bench and a lefthanded releiver


March 27th, 2011
11:13 am

I would rather have him in the bullpen than Sherrill or Proctor.


March 27th, 2011
12:16 pm

I don’t see the Reds going after KK, but if they had an interest in him, I would love to see them get Chris Heisey for him Piedmont Blues.


March 27th, 2011
12:44 pm

Somebody, anybody offer us 10 bats and 3 batting practice balls for Kawasucki and the deal is done.


March 27th, 2011
2:13 pm

Dave, honestly in 2009, KK pitched in somewhat hard luck. A 3.86 ERA in modern baseball isn’t that bad.

Last year, he was unsightly, getting rocked just about every time out.

Hopefully, we can find a team to trade him to, but.. given his age, and his performance last season, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Braves simply have to eat his contract.


March 27th, 2011
4:23 pm

Loser Again! Nothing Changes!!! Cut him loose now!

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