Braves Send Kenshin Kawakami Down To Double-A

Atlanta Makes Changes To Front Office Staff

Monday, November 15, 2010
Kenshin Kawakami
Kenshin Kawakami
- photo by Tim Evearitt

As the Braves continue to attempt to trade Kenshin Kawakami, or sell him to a Japanese team, they'll do so without him on their 40-man roster.

Kawakami passed through waivers and was sent outright to the Double-A Mississippi roster. The 34-year-old right-hander has gone 8-22 with a 4.32 ERA in 50 appearances (41 starts) since signing a three-year, $23 million contract with the Braves before the start of the 2009 season.

Braves general manager Frank Wren confirmed that he would spend a portion of this offseason trying to find Kawakami a new employer. Major League clubs have proven reluctant to trade for the Japanese hurler and also assume a healthy portion of the $6.67 million he is still owed in the final year of his contract.

Multiple Japanese clubs have shown interest in Kawakami, and a month ago at least one seemed to be willing to pay approximately half of his remaining salary. But as Wren moves forward in his attempt to reconstruct his roster, he still doesn't know if he'll be able to gain some extra funds by either selling or trading Kawakami.

Multiple attempts this week to reach Kawakami's agent, Dan Evans, proved unsuccessful. There is some reason to believe that the veteran pitcher would prefer to continue pitching in the United States.

The Yomiuri Giants and Nippon Ham Fighters are among the Japanese clubs that are believed to have shown interest in Kawakami. But another unidentified Japanese team provided the Braves reason to believe they would be willing to assume more of the $6.67 million figure than the two other clubs.

Kawakami has revealed that he does not like pitching in the Tokyo Dome, which serves as the home for the Yomiuri Giants. But if he remains with the Braves, he might have to find a liking to pitch in Minor League ballparks.

After Kawakami went 1-9 with a 4.48 ERA in his first 15 starts this year, the Braves put him in their bullpen and provided him just a one-inning relief appearance before optioning him to Triple-A Gwinnett in August.

Given a chance to make an emergency start in place of an injured Derek Lowe on Sept. 3, Kawakami allowed the Marlins five earned runs and issued four walks in a 73-pitch, three-inning effort. He pitched just one more inning of relief the remainder of the season.

Instead of allowing Kawakami to pitch in place of an injured Jair Jurrjens, the Braves gave Brandon Beachy three starts during the regular season's final two weeks. Beachy, who was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2008, had made a total of 21 Minor League starts before being thrust into the thick of a pennant race.

When the Braves traveled to San Francisco to begin their National League Division Series, they did not include Kawakami in their traveling party. Once the regular season was complete, they told him he was free to return to his native Japan.

Front office changes

Braves general manager Frank Wren is looking forward to the opportunity to benefit from the experience and knowledge that former Major League manager Lee Elia and highly-regarded scout Bob Johnson will now provide his organization.

The Braves announced on Friday that Johnson has been hired to serve as a special assistant to the general manager and that Elia will serve as a Major League and Minor League instructor. As reported earlier this week, the club has also hired former Orioles manager Dave Trembley to serve as their Minor League field coordinator.

Johnson will primarily serve as one of the Braves' advance scouts. This is a role he has previously held with the Mets (2007-10), Rangers (2005-06) and A's (1997-2004).

Recognized as an opinionated personality with a wealth of knowledge and solid relationships throughout the league, the 63-year-old Johnson has become well respected among his peers. An American League scout recently described him as "the best in the business."

Elia has spent most of the past four decades serving as a Minor League manager and both scout and manager at the Major League level. The 73-year-old citizen of Philadelphia was most recently employed by the Dodgers as a special assistant to general manager Ned Colletti.

During a long career that dates back to when he signed with the Phillies in 1958, Elia has served as a coach for the Phillies, Yankees, Blue Jays, Rays, Orioles and Mariners. He experienced short managerial stints with the Cubs (1982-83) and Phillies (1987-88).

Trembley served as the Orioles' manager over a four-year span that ended with his dismissal in June. During a 21-season stint as a Minor League manager, he won two titles and was named Manager of the Year in three different leagues. In 2001 Baseball America named him one of the top five managers of the previous 20 years.


SPRING FLING: Local Qualifiers 2019

CSAS Advances In Class A State Soccer Tournament

Spring Fling Schedule TRACK & FIELD UNIFIED SCHEDULE IS HERE . WEDNESDAY, MAY 22 Baseball Class 3A 12:30 pm: Bradley Central vs. Independence (Oakland) DII-AA ... (click for more)

SPRING FLING 2019 Local Qualifiers up to date as of: 5/19/12:00 pm Congratulations to all the teams and individuals who have qualified for the 2019 TSSAA spring sports championships. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences defeated Madison Academic Magnet 4-1 in the Division I Class A State quarterfinal on Tuesday in Murfreesboro. CSAS struck early and found themselves ... (click for more)



Spring Fling Schedule TRACK & FIELD UNIFIED SCHEDULE IS HERE . WEDNESDAY, MAY 22 Baseball Class 3A 12:30 pm: Bradley Central vs. Independence (Oakland) DII-AA 12:30 pm: Baylor vs. Christian brothers (Wilson Central) Softball DII-A 11:30 am: CCS vs. Davidson Academy (Starplex 3) Class 3A 10:30 am: Ooltewah vs. Dyer Co. (Starplex ... (click for more)

SPRING FLING: Local Qualifiers 2019

SPRING FLING 2019 Local Qualifiers up to date as of: 5/19/12:00 pm Congratulations to all the teams and individuals who have qualified for the 2019 TSSAA spring sports championships. All events will be held in Murfreesboro the week of May 22-24. BASEBALL Class 3A Bradley Central Class DII-AA Baylor Class 2A Sequatchie County SOFTBALL DII-A ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Ex-Wife Arrested Along With Man In Death Of Roger Dale Miller, Whose Bound Body Was Found In Meigs County

A joint investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and multiple East Tennessee law enforcement agencies has resulted in the arrest of two people who face charges in connection to last week’s homicide of a Decatur, Tn., man. At the request of 9th District Attorney General Russell Johnson, TBI agents joined law enforcement officers from the Decatur ... (click for more)

Judge Sets $300,000 Bond For Woman Facing Attempted Murder Charge Who Is Described As "Sweet Like Pie"

A woman described as a “peacemaker” and “sweet like a piece of pie” had her bond set at $300,000 after prosecutors said she aided her brother and his friend in a brutal murder. Charged with attempted first-degree murder, Sherquilla Hubbard faces a possible lengthy prison term for her role in the 2018 crime. Ms. Hubbard, 24, appeared in Hamilton County Criminal Court before Judge ... (click for more)


Put Money Towards Our Youth Instead Of Remodeling Downtown

Our school systems are weakening more and more each year. The school system is always put on the back burner financially. No raise for teachers, no remodels, not even new books for our children. When budget cuts come from city officials they take from the schools first. How can you get an education when your building is falling apart? Instead of remodeling downtown Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Too Good To Be True

I spend several hours every day practicing what I call “My Morning Reading.” I search for stories I think will be of interest to a what has become a large group of followers because I love to share stories on just about any subject and, if they are funny, have the ability to inspire, or pass along wisdom that’s all the better. Sometimes, however there is a price to pay. About 20 ... (click for more)