Saturday, November 11, 2006


Cubs bid for Matsuzaka, may settle for leftyBy Phil RogersTribune baseball reporterNovember 10, 2006, 11:15 PM CST
Though the Cubs entered a bid for Japanese ace Daisuke Matsuzaka, there's a better chance they will wind up with 27-year-old left-hander Kei Igawa, whom the Hanshin Tigers made available Friday.Igawa, who was 14-9 this season, has led the Central League in strikeouts three of the last six seasons but isn't considered to be as sure of making a smooth transition to U.S. baseball as Matsuzaka.

ESPN reported the Red Sox might have submitted the high bid for Matsuzaka, at between $38 million and $45 million. The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram reported the Rangers might have bid $30 million; a Boston TV station reported the Angels might have the high bid, without offering an estimated amount.The team made the highest bid has exclusive rights to sign the pitcher. If Matsuzaka chooses not to sign within a 30-day window, he would return to Seibu for the 2007 season and become a free agent in 2008.If the Cubs don't land the rights to Matsuzaka they are almost sure to bid aggressively for Igawa. The Cubs had been interested in right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, but he re-signed with

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