Found December 14, 2011 on Pirates Prospects:

The Pittsburgh Pirates have an agreement to sign right handed pitcher Ryota Igarashi, according to The Jiji Press (via Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker).  The agreement is for a split contract, which usually means it’s a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training.

Igarashi previously played for the New York Mets where he combined for a 5.74 ERA in 69 innings, along with an 8.7 K/9 and a 6.0 BB/9 ratio. He made the jump from the Japanese leagues prior to the 2010 season, and the Pirates had interest in him at the time. He holds the record for the fastest pitch thrown by a Japanese pitcher at an NPB game at 98.75 MPH, although his average velocity in the majors has been 92.7 MPH.


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