Did the K-man do it, or did the K-man do it?
One of the running jokes of the Yankees ’08 season was bringing up Kei Igawa’s name any time there was a need for a starting pitcher. That happened a lot, and after a one-shot deal in Detroit on May 9, Igawa was never the guy they called up to start.
Joe Girardi’s last assignment to Igawa was to record the final three outs in a June 27 game at Shea Stadium, with the Yankees leading 9-0. Igawa got the job done (cue Cosmo Kramer: “Did the K-man do it, or did the K-man do it?”) but gave up two hard singles in the process before inducing Luis Castillo to hit into a game-ending double play.
He was not heard from again on the big league level. There’s no clearer sign than how far Igawa’s star has fallen than the fact he is no longer on the Yankees’ 40-man roster, a Triple-A filler part with $12 million still owed to him through the 2011 season.
So it seems that in the much-rumored trade that would plant Mike Cameron in center field at Yankee Stadium, while shipping Melky Cabrera to the Milwaukee Brewers, the holdup may be Igawa. The New York Post reported that the Brewers want to pick up as little of his salary as possible, as Milwaukee is dropping Cameron’s $10 million deal for 2009 as a salary dump.
The Post reported that the Brewers asked for Phil Coke, Jose Veras and Mark Melancon before Igawa’s name surfaced, but the Yankees quickly said no. That brings the Brewers to Milwaukee, a touted import from Japan who may need this chance more than anyone to revive his stalled career.