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Friday, March 11, 2011
Kei Igawa given OK to leave camp

By Andrew Marchand
ESPNNewYork.com

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- New York Yankees minor leaguer Kei Igawa has been given permission to leave spring camp to deal with the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that have hit Japan.

As of Friday afternoon, Igawa had been unable to reach his family by phone.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he has given Igawa permission to return home, but there is no telling how or if he will be able to return to Japan. Travel has been severely restricted after the disaster. As of Friday afternoon, Igawa was still in his apartment in Tampa.

The Yankees have donated $100,000 to support rescue and relief efforts. Of the total, $50,000 will be given to the Salvation Army and $50,000 to the Red Cross.

Igawa, 31, is in the final year of a five-year, $20 million contract. The Yankees obtained the rights to sign him by posting a $26 million fee to the Japanese League. He is 2-4 with a 6.66 ERA with the Yankees.

Andrew Marchand covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com.