The Boston Globe is reporting (link) that Japanese right-hander Junichi Tazawa has agreed to join the Boston Red Sox -- hardly shocking news to anyone, including the Rangers, who has been following the 22-year-old amateur.
The Rangers were one of four teams who met with Tazawa and submitted offers for him to consider. He phoned the Rangers on Friday and rejected their offer, according to the Kyodo News agency.
Two pitchers remain in a thin Japanese free-agent class -- Kenshin Kawakami and Koji Uehara. Both are 33, both are right-handed and, unlike Tazawa, both would likely slot into the middle or back end of a big-league rotation in 2009.
The Rangers have been linked as suitors of both, but does signing either one make sense as far as the Rangers' oft-stated long-term plans are concerned? Maybe, if being a force in the Pacific Rim is part of the plan. But good PR in Japan won't help the Rangers much the next few seasons.
-- Jeff Wilson