Hideki Irabu, the infamous Japanese pitcher signed by the Yankees in 1997, was found dead in a suburb outside Los Angeles yesterday.
He was 42 years old.
Police said Irabu’s body was found at 7:25 p.m. EST Wednesday night.
“He was found dead of an apparent suicide,” Los Angeles county sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Arriaga said.
Irabu was signed to much fanfare by the Yankees in 1997. His rights were purchased from his Japanese team by the Padres, but he refused to sign. The Yankees executed a sign and trade, bringing in the pitcher on a four-year, $12.8 million contract.
Irabu was largely a bust. He went 29-20 with a 4.80 ERA?in three seasons in New York. While he was on two World Series champions, he pitched in only one postseason game. He later pitched for Montreal and Texas.
The Yankees released a statement Thursday.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Hideki Irabu. Every player that wears the Pinstripes is forever a part of the Yankees family, and his death is felt throughout our organization. Our sympathies and support go out to his wife, Kyonsu, his two children, and all of his friends and loved ones.”