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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Sox Sign Tadahito Iguchi

The White Sox have signed Japanese infielder Tadahito Iguchi and will give him the second-base job for 2005. What will Iguchi give them?

Last season, in Japan, Iguchi—who turned 30 in December—batted .333 with 24 homers and 89 RBI. The Sox, however, see him as a #2 hitter, implying that they believe his power will deflate on coming to the United States. As a table-setter, then, Iguchi’s on-base ability is critical. Last year he took just 47 walks in 124 games, but did draw 81 passes in 2003. He has some speed, but his stolen base total dropped by 24 in 2004.

He has played both shortstop and second base for Fukuoka, and is sure-handed. The Sox have given Iguchi a two-year deal, and hold a club option for a third. At $2.5 million per year, Iguchi is a pretty decent gamble. For now, incumbent second sacker Willie Harris becomes an all-purpose utilityman.


Blogger Larry Epke said...

The White Sox are questionable at both second and short, so adding someone who can play either makes a lot of sense. Neither Willie Harris at second or Juan Uribe at short have proven themselves, so presumably the best two of the group will get the starting nod.

Now, if I could only be convinced that Ozzie and Sox management will be able to identify the best two!

7:29 AM, January 27, 2005

Blogger Stuart Shea said...

Larry, your point is spot-on. It's not the collecting talent that's difficult; it's realizing who can play and who can't.

7:53 AM, January 27, 2005


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