• Kyodo


The New York Yankees have agreed on a five-year, $20 million deal with Japanese pitcher Kei Igawa, baseball sources said Monday.

News photoKei Igawa

New York won the right to negotiate with Igawa last month with a $26 million offer, opening the way for the Hanshin Tigers left-hander to become the third Japanese to don the famed pinstripes.

Igawa is set to become the third Japanese to strike a deal with a major league team this offseason via the so-called posting system.

Igawa will arrive in the United States on Wednesday and undergo a medical checkup, the sources said, adding he will not hold a press conference before heading back to Japan even if he signed the deal.

The Boston Red Sox, the Yankees’ archrivals in the American League East, signed right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka to a six-year, $52 million contract last week, while the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and infielder Akinori Iwamura have inked a three-year deal worth a reported $7.7 million.

On Nov. 29, Hanshin said it had accepted the Yankees’ $26 million offer for the right to negotiate with Igawa.

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