Junichi Tazawa is apparently now on the 40 man roster of the Boston Red Sox. The 22 year old would likely have gone in the middle of the first round if he were currently attending an American college. It's rather unfortunate that the Red Sox put a mere $3 million on the board and got a solid prospect. According to Keith Law, Tazawa was intent on playing alongside Daisuke in Boston.
Tazawa had the opportunity that American-born amateur players would kill to get: He could shop his services to any team with no restrictions and receive his actual market value rather than an artificially depressed figure dictated by the Commissioner's Office.
It's hard to believe that Tazawa was being offered millions more and left it on the table, but with Daisuke and Okajima already in Boston, there will be a certain level of comfort. Additionally, Tazawa was inclined to go to Boston as the Sox were the first team to initially scout him; another reason the O's should be putting money into international development instead of 30 year old DH's.
Judging by most reports, Tazawa is behind guys like Strasburgh/Crow, yet he's still in the mix. I don't think the O's ever stood a chance with a guy like this, but getting a 22 year old, highly regarded prospect without giving up a veteran, or a draft pick, is a huge plus. Furthermore, it's not like Tazawa is coming into the league at 28-31 like most Japanese free agents, this guy coud be in baseball for over a decade should he pan out. I don't mean to gush all over this kid as I've seen nothing but scouting reports, but the Red Sox gave up peanuts to get another elite prospect. It's not a coincidence that they've been able to simultaneously sustain a contending team while maintaining a farm that churns out talent.