Tuesday April 12, 2011 | 05:27 PM

While Red Sox Nation is not thrilled with Daisuke Matsuzaka today, another Japanese pitcher toils in obscurity - with a $46-million price tag. Kei Igawa is a reliever for the Trenton Thunder, in Portland for a three-game series.

Igawa was signed the same year as Matsuzaka. Some may argue that the Yankees signed Igawa in response to Boston getting Dice-K.

While Boston spent big bucks - $51-million positing fee, $52-million, 6-year contract- the Yankees also opened up their checkbook, paying a $26-million posting fee, and then signing Igawa to a 5-year, $20-million contract.

Igawa, now 31, pitched 14 games for the Yankees (6.25 ERA) in 2007, then only two games in 2008 (6 ER, 4 IP). He hasn't seen the majors since. Igawa has been in Triple-A until this season, when he was dropped to Double-A Trenton. He will likely see action out of the bullpen sometime this series.

Here are the Red Sox and Sea Dogs lineups tonight. Boston is obviously going with the right-handers against lefty David Price. Portland has right-handed prospect Alex Wilson on the mound.

BOSTON: Crawford LF; Pedroia 2B; Gonzalez 1B; Youkilis DH; Lowrie 3B; Cameron CF; Varitek C; McDonald RF; Scutaro SS. Lester P.

PORTLAND: Hassan LF; Federowicz DH; Padron 1B; Lavarnway C; Chiang RF; Middlebrooks 3B; Tejeda 2B; Hee SS; Dening CF. Wilson P.

And don't forget our new twitter account - ClearTheBases.

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Celtics and Maine Red Claws on Holding Court


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