Hyogo Blue Sandars announced today that they signed thirty-seven-year-old Kei Igawa to a practice player contract, effective December 15. He was assigned the uniform number 29.
Igawa was released by the Orix Buffaloes after the 2015 season. He spent this year working out with Hyogo. He agreed to sign a practice player contract because he still wants to play. His goal next year is to sign a standard contract with Hyogo and pitch a full season.
[UPDATE 12/23 @ 10:01pm]
A few more details on Igawa’s current status and contract.
Hyogo is part of the Baseball First League. Aside from some exceptions, players do not receive a salary, regardless of the type of contract they sign. Igawa will not be receiving a salary.
Igawa is not quite 100 percent healthy. He has some issues with his calf and lower back, but can still throw around 140km/h.
Source: Tokyo Sports 12/23/2016