Hello everyone, I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! :-)
Sorry, I've been busy of late, so I didn't get a chance to mention that the Indians signed their first Japanese FA - 33-YO Masahide Kobayashi, on Tuesday: 2-years, $6 million, along with a $3.25 million option for 2010, with a $250,000 buyout.
Supposedly, Kobayashi (no relation to the hot dog-eating champion :-) features a fastball that reaches the mid-90s, a hard, downward-breaking slider (reportedly his best pitch,) and an occasional forkball. He has stayed healthy for the most part while with the Chiba Lotte Marines of the Japanese Pacific League and has recorded 20+ saves for 7 straight seasons, with a grand total of 227 saves and a 2.79 ERA for his career in Japan.
You can also see a YouTube video and more thoughts here.
Kobayashi's Japanese career statistics are here.
According to ESPN, via Chicago-media reports, the White Sox have signed 31-YO RHP Scott Linebrink to a 4-year $19 million contract, pending approval of his physical.
I talk more about what I thought of the deal here - essentially, while I think Linebrink could help the White Sox's bullpen (which had a 5.47 ERA,) I think the 4-year contract could come back to hurt the White Sox long-term, being that that length and amount is a lot to pay for a non-closer who has never pitched regularly in the AL and who showed a few troubling signs in 2007, particularly in his HR rate with San Diego (4 of those 9 HRs coming at spacious Petco Park in 25.2 IP) and his BB rate with Milwaukee (11 BB in 25.1 IP.)
Sorry about all the links - I just thought it would save time and cut down on the amount you'd have to read here (as well as how much I'd have to write! :-)
Just my 2 cents.
Take care and have a great day!