If clubs did conspire against Iguchi, it might have been because Major League Baseball wanted to reduce the value of the contracts Japanese players were getting... On the other hand, Kenji Jojima, a free-agent Japanese catcher, recently signed a three-year $16.5 million contract with Seattle, a good deal for a catcher whose command of English is questionable.
In regards to the Cardinals, I think they did about the best they could last season at filling their middle infield gaps with the funds available to them. Grudz and Eckstein both were probably underpaid last year. They earned a combined 3.3M in '05, and while St. Louis had a payroll around $90M, they have a number of huge salaries on the books and had a hard budget figure that they had to be under.
In regards to the Yankees, they were just dumb. The Womack signing had Stienbrenner written all over it. It should be pointed out that the Yankees signed Womack before Iguchi was signed, and before Placido Polanco chose to accept Philly's arbitration offer, and before Grudz and Eckstein signed.
Kazou Matsui's huge contract, and subsequent flop, had more to do with Iguchi's relatively affordable price tag than collusion. Kaz and not Godzilla was the most comparable Japanese import, and thus, Iguchi was going to be paid more in line with Kazou's production.