In a startling announcement made this morning, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein proclaimed that the team will only be signing players of Asian descent for the foreseeable future.
What has been dubbed as the team's "Sayonara Plan" apparently began in late 2006 and early 2007 with the pursuit and subsequent signing of former Japanese star Daisuke Matsuzaka. Matsuzaka's solid 2007, paired with the success of Red Sox reliever and fellow countryman Hideki Okajima, has fueled Esptein's obsession with signing each and every player out of Asia.
On Dec. 5, the precocious Epstein made further strides by inking Junichi Tazawa to a three-year, $3.3 million deal. It is commonly believed the 22-year-old Tazawa will begin his career in Double-A before making an appearance in the majors.
Epstein is currently rumored to be in negotiations with Japanese import and former Chunichi Dragons pitcher Kenshin Kawakami. Kawakami projects as a middle- or back-of-the-rotation starter.
Epstein refused to comment on which other Asian imports he is interested in, but hinted that the Seattle Mariners could have a replacement at catcher for Jason Varitek in Kenji Johjima.
We will report any progress on the Kawakami signing as soon as we get it.