Breaking News: Swallows acquire Kouki Watanabe

The Swallows are reporting that they have acquired left-handed pitcher Kouki Watanabe through a trade with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. In return, the Swallows will be sending right-handed pitcher Yuuya Kamada to the Eagles. Watanabe is in his sixth year of pro ball and has been used exclusively as a reliever by the Eagles. In 2007, he made a league high 65 appearances but has not made more than 17 first team appearances in any other season. Last year, Watanabe gave up 6 runs in only 3 and 2/3 innings spread out over 4 games. He has not made an appearance with the top club this year, but has made 16 appearances with the Rakuten farm team this season. In those 16 games, Watanabe has pitched 17 innings, picked up 1 win and 3 saves, struck out 13, walked only 2, and has an ERA of 2.12.

Going the other way is 10 year veteran Yuuya Kamada. Kamada was drafted in the second round of the 2000 Draft by the Swallows, and was used as a both starter and reliever in the early part of his career. He had his best season in 2003 when he made 30 appearances, including 15 starts, and compiled a 6-7 record including 2 complete game shutouts. His role has gradually diminished since that season, and he only made 9 relief appearances with the first team last season. Like Watanabe, Kamada has spent the entire 2010 season on the farm team. In 14 games, Kamada has pitched 28 and 2/3 innings, picked up 2 losses and 1 save, struck out 16, walked 7, and has an ERA of 5.02.

I assume Watanabe will continue to be used mainly in the farm, but will be called up to the top team on occasion. All in all, just a trade of minor relievers. I wish both players the best of luck for their new teams!

About Kozo Ota

Kozo Ota is a third-generation Swallows fan that grew up on Montreal Expos baseball. (You can read more about that here.) When he's not at Jingu, he works as a freelance translator/interpreter to make enough money to go to Jingu. You can find random posts by Kozo on Google+ and Twitter.