The Pittsburgh Pirates have an agreement to sign right handed pitcher Ryota Igarashi, according to The Jiji Press (via Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker). The agreement is for a split contract, which usually means it's a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training.
Igarashi previously played for the New York Mets where he combined for a 5.74 ERA in 69 innings, along with an 8.7 K/9 and a 6.0 BB/9 ratio. He made the jump from the Japanese leagues prior to the 2010 season, and the Pirates had interest in him at the time. He holds the record for the fastest pitch thrown by a Japanese pitcher at an NPB game at 98.75 MPH, although his average velocity in the majors has been 92.7 MPH....
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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.