Igawa's agent, Arn Tellem, and the Yankees have been working toward agreement on a five-year, $20 million contract. The sides are still negotiating the year-to-year breakdown of his salary and what performance bonuses will be included.
New York and Igawa have until Dec. 28 to finalize an agreement. The Yankees bid $26,000,194 for the 27-year-old left-hander, who went 14-9 last season with a 2.97 ERA and 194 strikeouts for the Japanese Central League's Hanshin Tigers. They must pay the fee to the Tigers within five business days after completing a contract.
Andy Pettitte, another pitcher joining the Yankees, had a physical Tuesday, part of finalizing the contract he agreed to on Dec. 8. Pettitte, rejoining the Yankees after three seasons with his hometown Astros, will get $16 million next year and has a $16 million player option for 2008.
"Andy knows how to pitch here. He knows how to pitch in big games. It's not going to be new to him, like most guys come in here," former Yankees teammate Darryl Strawberry said Tuesday. "He's a big-time pitcher and he knows how to pitch under pressure, too."
Strawberry thinks Roger Clemens might follow Pettitte back to the Bronx. Like Pettitte, Clemens left the Yankees after the 2003 season and spent the last three years with the Astros.
"There's no question they're best of friends and everything," Strawberry said. "Why wouldn't they come back to New York, where they won before? It's all about winning. After you win, you go somewhere else, you don't win, it's frustrating."