So the Indians have seen the true power of the Pacific Rim.
This is really starting to become an annual rite for major league teams who are tired of overpaying for middling relivers who go from one year wonders to can't get a guy out. Here's a few examples of how teams have wasted resources over the last few years:
Cubs - Bob Howry - 3yrs/12MM
Yankees - Kyle Farnsworth - 3yrs/17MM
Phillies - J.C. Romero - 3yrs/12MM - This is absurd!
Now, on the other side of the ledger, let's take a quick look at the Japanese imports over the last few years as well:
Akinori Otsuka: Posting fee - $300,000, First contract - 3yr/2.1MM
Takashi Saito - 1 yr/1MM
Hideki Okajima - 2 yrs/2.5MM with 3rd yr option
Now the Indians are jumping on board with the Kobayashi signing, hoping to get the next hot import. Worst case scenario, this guy flames out and gets released or worse, Igawa-ed down to the Gulf Coast League for an overhaul. But when the dollars are this much less, and the track record of pitchers with similar pedigrees is so successful, one can only wonder if they have added enough to vault into the World Series before Sabathia becomes a free agent in '09.