Kawakami gets 3-year deal from Braves

Tim Brown
Yahoo! SportsJanuary 10, 2009

Japanese right-hander Kenshin Kawakami agreed to a three-year contract with the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. Kawakami, 33, is scheduled to take a physical early next week.

Kawakami was 9-5 with a 2.30 ERA in 20 starts for the Chunichi Dragons last season and has a 112-72 record in an 11-year career, all of it spent with the Dragons.

Kawakami, who also was hotly pursued by the Baltimore Orioles, will bolster a rotation thinned by the loss of Tim Hudson, who underwent Tommy John surgery in August, and John Smoltz, who signed this week with the Red Sox. They also have yet to re-sign Tom Glavine, who had shoulder and elbow surgery about two weeks after Hudson's surgery.

The Braves are in heavy negotiations for veteran right-hander Derek Lowe, however, and acquired Javier Vazquez from the White Sox in early December.