is an Indiana guy who had been with the Yankees ever since getting picked in the 3rd round in 1999 out of Indiana State. As a college "polished lefty", he moved fairly quick through the NY system, reaching AAA in 2002 in his age-24 season. He then spent most of 2002, all of 2003 and almost all of 2004 in Columbus, appearing in three games (and getting blasted) with the Yankees that year. In 2005, after being shunted back to Columbus again (getting two more appearances in New York and getting beat on again), he asked for and got his release in August and signed with the Reds, going 2-1, 3.09 in five appearances (four starts). Cincinnati released him in October and I was hoping he'd resign, but he chose the Japan route instead.
With four full seasons in AAA under his belt (his ERA improved each time, from 4.65 to 4.48 to 3.37 to 3.15), the now-28-year-old Graman has proved that he's an AAAA-quality guy. Apparently he feels as though he has nothing further to prove in the International League, so expect him to be back in 2007 should he have a successful year with Seibu.
Alex has a fairly solid K rate, around eight per nine in AAA, and doesn't walk too many (around 3.5 in AAA). He simply didn't get a real opportunity in the organization he was in. Don't be surprised if he comes back from Japan and puts in a few seasons in the bigs with someone.