KOBE – The Orix Buffaloes are looking to pursue left-hander Kei Igawa, whose five-year contract with the New York Yankees expired at the end of the 2011 season, an Orix team official said Saturday.
Igawa’s $46 million deal with the Yankees turned out to be a complete bust as he spent most of his time there in the minor leagues.
“If he wants to return to Japan, we are in a position to accept him,” said the official. “We still think that he has the power to pitch.”
Igawa, 32, moved from the Hanshin Tigers via the posting system in the 2006 offseason.
He pitched his last major league start on May 9, 2008, when he allowed six runs and 11 hits in three-plus innings against the Detroit Tigers.
Igawa, who had 86 career wins in Japan, posted just a 2-4 record with a 6.66 ERA in 16 games with the Yankees.