on Feldman's cutter
and another on Tazawa
I was stoked to learn that TX had pushed hard for this kid last year, a talented pitcher from the Japanese Industrial League, who skipped out of the NPB draft, causing so much vitriol - a Japanese player taking himself outside of the control of the league and threatening the integrity of their (relatively) closed system - that they established the "Tazawa" rule: renounce your draft eligibility and pitch overseas = 6yr ban. Anyways, the kid has great pitchability, good deception, all of which play up his various offerings. What a stab in the eye that he turned down our HIGH offer of 4yrs/5.7million and went to boston and is already in their rotation.
So now that TX is competitive again and word has finally gotten out that we can indeed develop and keep our own players, I am hoping that those kind of groin kicks occur less often. We lost out on a few top-flight arms last year with competitive bids - Tazawa, Ynoa, and Portillo - with at least one professing publicly (Ynoa - but you have to think the others did so privately) that he had concerns about the franchise's ability to develop pitchers. Sigh.
What we need is street cred and I think we have it now. Though our presence on the Pacific Rim is minimal, we are there, err Jim Colburn is there, keeping tabs in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. If there are any Tazawa-like runs for the (US )border this year, expect TX to be in the mix. And don't underestimate the importance of having Nam and Ahn in our system (and the previous FA signing whose name must not be spoken) to help woo a high-ceiling Korean. Tawain, meh, not of lot of guys having success in the minors, and not a lot of Australians of interest, though we do have two in the system (both currently in the DSL, if that tells you anything).