NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees
got a chance to sign a Japanese pitcher on their second try this offseason, winning the rights Tuesday to Kei Igawa after losing out to the Boston Red Sox
two weeks ago for Daisuke Matsuzaka.
New York's offer of $26,000,194 -- the last three digits matching his strikeout total this year -- was the highest bid among major league teams for Igawa, and it was accepted Tuesday by his Japanese team, the Hanshin Tigers.
"The Yankees are a team with a lot of tradition," Igawa said at a news conference in Osaka. "They get a lot of media attention, like the Tigers do. I was surprised to hear the team bid that much for me, and I feel like today I've taken another step toward realizing my dream."
The Yankees' winning bid was first reported by ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.