The Orioles have contacted Japanese left-handed pitcher Hisanori Takahashi to discuss his price and desire to play in Baltimore. Takahashi has claimed he’s gotten a major league offer, although, he didn’t name the team. To my displeasure, I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up being the Orioles.
Takahashi will be turning 35 in April, so he’s no young ‘prospect’ type of player. If the Orioles due sign him, he views himself more as a starter than a reliever. Takahashi would probably compete for the starting spot, but will end up as a reliever, which is what the O’s view him as.
He finished the 2009 season in Japan with respectable stats 10-6, 2.94 ERA, 121/36 K/BB in 144 IP. He’s not going to eat-up many innings as a starter, which is why his fate will be a reliever if he joins an MLB club. Takahashi fastball tops out around 85-90mph and isn’t going to overpower any MLB batter.
I could think of worse players to sign, but I hope we pass on Hisanori Takahashi. I believe we’d be best to sign somebody who’s already played in the MLB and knows the batters. I don’t see the Orioles signing Takahashi for that very reason.