Athletics Win Bidding On Hisashi Iwakuma

8:03pm: The A's bid about $17MM, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).

10:25am: The Athletics won the bidding on Japanese righty Hisashi Iwakuma, MLB announced (via Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports on Twitter).  Last night, Iwakuma's agent Don Nomura appeared to tweet the same.  The A's now have 30 days to hammer out a contract with Iwakuma.  Iwakuma's team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, are expected to accept the bid, tweets NPB Tracker's Patrick NewmanHe adds that the Athletics and Golden Eagles already have a working relationship.  The Rangers and Mariners also submitted bids, according to Ken Rosenthal.

There's been speculation that Rakuten wanted roughly $18MM in a posting fee, but we really don't know what the A's bid.  Iwakuma could be a fairly risky signing with a contract on top.  Rosenthal suggested Saturday that the A's may be trying to create a pitching surplus, which for me conjures memories of their unexpected Esteban Loaiza signing five years ago.

Iwakuma, 30 in April, posted a 2.82 ERA, 6.9 K/9, 1.6 BB/9, and 0.49 HR/9 in 201 innings this year.  In August, Newman rated him as "the second best MLB pitching prospect currently active in NPB" in a FanGraphs article.  He described Iwakuma as "a fairly standard fastball/slider/forkball righty."  ESPN's Keith Law ranked Iwakuma as seventh-best free agent starter available, pegging him as a solid No. 4.


93 Responses to Athletics Win Bidding On Hisashi Iwakuma Leave a Reply

  1. myname_989 5 years ago

    Quick question to Tim or maybe someone else who can answer – Now that the A’s have won the rights to Iwakuma, can they trade those right to another MLB team, or does he have to have a MLB contract first?

    Pretty sure I know the answer to that, but just wanted to be certain. Lol

    • safari_punch 5 years ago

      I was wondering the same thing. I don’t think they can trade the rights and I’m pretty sure you can’t flip a player until after the first year of a deal. This will help boost the attendance of the Athletics I would think in any event.

      Even if Iwakuma isn’t traded, he can rest assured that he’ll have the best AAA offense that money can buy behind him.

      • myname_989 5 years ago

        Yeah, I know it’s that way with amateur players, but I was wondering if the rules were any different with an international player. I definitely agree though, either way, it’s going to be a great sign for the A’s.

      • razumikhin 5 years ago

        I would imagine that having arguably the best infield defense in the league behind him outweighs concerns about the offense, especially given his ability to generate groundballs.

        • safari_punch 5 years ago

          Let’s hope batters bite on his split finger and he lasts longer than five innings unlike Kawakami.

          How do you see the rotation shaping up?

          1. Gonzalez
          2. Cahill
          3. Anderson
          4. Iwakuma?

          • BWOzar 5 years ago

            Braden as well.

          • razumikhin 5 years ago

            Tough to say, although I doubt Gio is the opening day starter. I’d say either Cahill or Braden gets the nod there. The splitter is going to be the key. Patrick Newman did a nice write-up over at fangraphs showing how dominant the pitch was in Japan.

          • shysox 5 years ago

            1.Cahill
            2.Anderson
            3.Gonzalez
            4.Braden
            5.Iwakuma (Kei Igawa 2.0)

          • i think if brett anderson is healthy the A’s call him their “ace”

    • dc21892 5 years ago

      I was wondering that, also. I was wondering if they did this to get something in return. Maybe if they sign him they will look to trade someone else in their rotation or even him, but that seems unlikely right away.

    • BWOzar 5 years ago

      The Pete Incaviglia rule was instituted for amateur players, not major leaguers. I also believe you can’t trade an international signing until his 18th birthday. Since Iwakuma falls under neither of these rules I think he’s trade-able. There’s also an understanding around MLB teams that they don’t follow the typical player rights rules with Japanese pros (for example 6 years of control/arbitration rules – as the Mets just did with Takahashi by releasing him).

      • RahZid 5 years ago

        He would still be treated like any other player signed by a MLB team, meaning he couldn’t be traded until June 15th at the earliest without his permission.

        Also, $16-$18M is a lot of money to spend on a trade piece. The A’s went after him because they want the player.

        • BWOzar 5 years ago

          Good call about June 15 – and you’re right, they’re not gambling nearly 20 million on a trade chip that many project as a 4th starter.

          • safari_punch 5 years ago

            I think he’ll pay for himself the first year easily with the additional revenues from stadium signage, attendance, merchandise sales, etc from the Japanese. even if he is a number four talent-wise.

            Best case scenario would be if Iwakuma was Nomo in terms of performance and ability to capture fans imagination on both sides of the Pacific.

          • RahZid 5 years ago

            I’m not convinced that he’ll bring in an additional $18M + salary in the first year he’s in Oakland, but long term this should help the A’s generate revenue from Japan, much like Dice-K did for the Red Sox.

          • BWOzar 5 years ago

            I think there’s a lot of question about how much actual revenue Asian players bring into their new teams. A good deal of conversation occurred about this vis-a-vis Matsui last year and, if I recall, the conclusion was that because of the way MLB merchandise is licensed there really wasn’t that significant a boost in revenue for a team. Licensed merchandise revenue is distributed almost evenly among all teams.

            I don’t think a solid #4 starter is really going to fill the stands in Oakland when legitimately good teams have been unable to manage that. In stadium marketing is a nice benefit, but isn’t all that profitable – the space will sell to someone, maybe a Japanese company spends a bit more but it won’t be a significant gap (there was a study done about this concerning Yankees sponsorship with the Yomiuri Times).

            Not saying he won’t be a useful major league pitcher or that he won’t have SOME impact on revenue – but I don’t think there’s any scenario where he creates even 10% of his posting cost through ancillary income.

          • BWOzar 5 years ago

            I’d also follow-up and say this guy isn’t Hideki Matsui, Ichiro Suzuki or Daisuke Matsuzaka in terms of profile. Would a Yankee fan’s loyalty follow Derek Jeter to another organization? Or a Cardinals fan with Pujols? Maybe, but unlikely. In Japanese baseball profile Iwakuma is a great player, but hardly a ultra-superstar that would turn Japanese fans into MLB fans (like those other 3 did to some extent) – I think it’s closer to asking if Blue Jays fans would become Philly fans because Halladay moved there. Great player, but not the sort of thing that reorients a fanbase.

          • RahZid 5 years ago

            I agree completely, he is no Dice-K. but his posting fee is likely only 40% of what Dice-K’s was, so he would need to generate far less revenue to make up for it.

            I’m not sure about Matsui and Ichiro as far as posting fee’s are concerned, but I would certainly agree with your star-power assessment.

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      I am So happy about this!!!!!!!!!!! I love the A’s so much and especially Hisashi Iwakuma!!!!!!!!

      I have some ideas…I think the rotation will be Cahill, Braden, Anderson, Gio, and Iwakuma (which will also take pressure off of Iwakuma being #5. Vin Mazzaro who will become expendable has a lot of trade value…Here are some ideas…

      Vin Mazzaro and Ian Krol for Chris Young.

      Vin Mazzaro and Tyson Ross for Casey McGehee.

      Vin Mazzaro for Kelly Johnson.

      Just some ideas.

      I am picking the A’s to win the ’11 World Series. It’s all about pitching, defense, speed, and some luck which the A’s have. The Coco, Chris, Kurt, Ryan, Daric, a potential 3B and/or SS will all make this happen along with a fantistic rotation and bullpen.

      The A’s are also going to sign Hideki Matsui.

      • coachofall 5 years ago

        One thing that can’t be lost is the abscense of Curt Young. I do feel Pitching coaches are overrated on most staffs but when you have such a young group of arms I don’t think its out of the question to expect some sort of adjustment period which is usually accompanied by a statistical regression. Even wtih that; history does prove the best pitching coaches usually have talented arms to work wtih and thsi staff does have that

        • DMartAsFan 5 years ago

          A’s have Romanick as their pitching coach now and all of the current A’s pitchers (excluding Iwakuma) have went through the A’s organization with Romanick as the minor league pitching roving coach. He is a great coach maybe not as good as Young but still has good relationships with all the pitchers.

      • Sam_Lee 5 years ago

        What are the Brewers supposed to do with Vin Mazzaro and Tyson Ross?

        • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

          Vin Mazzaro is one of Baseballs really good young starters. Tyson Ross isn’t any worse.

      • Sam_Lee 5 years ago

        What are the Brewers supposed to do with Vin Mazzaro and Tyson Ross?

    • well i think you cant trade the rights away but if a contract is not reached the player will stay with his former team the A’s do plan on trading away a pitcher like vin mazzaro for hitting or maybe a guy like trevor cahill for extreme power

  2. BWOzar 5 years ago

    I find myself believing, based on scouting reports, that all parties involved might’ve been happier if Iwakuma ended up in the NL. Interesting move by Billy Beane. Or maybe I should say by David Forst…

  3. He is a groundball pitcher just like Cahill who will do well with the A’s defense behind him and such a pitcher friendly park.

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      He is also the 2nd best pitcher in Japan. That doesn’t hurt!

  4. AmericanMovieFan 5 years ago

    Given the $16-17MM posting fee and given that he’s going to get a contract worth at least $13MM, we’ll see the A’s spend $30-$40MM on this guy. He’s good, but it begs the question: how the heck do the A’s decide to spend their money? I know people say it’s all about the pitching with them, but it still feels so random. I’m skeptical as to how successful this will be.

    • jpshark 5 years ago

      If he ends up signing a deal for 3 years and $13-14mm, the deal essentially becomes a front-loaded 3/30 type contract with most of the money being spent during the first year with the posting fee, and first seasons salary. The A’s basically used most of the money coming off of the books from 2010 right away, and from 2012 on they will have much less being payed out to Iwakuma then the initial chunk. This gives them flexibility in the rotation to deal 1-2 of their young starters and some prospects for a couple bats, which should put them right there for contention in 2011. Even if this doesn’t work out as planned, its not like the A’s are going to be financially handcuffed for the next several seasons as I expect his annual salary to be fairly insignificant. Furthermore, the A’s and Iwakuma’s current club already have a working relationship leading me to believe some extensive scouting was probably done before the offer was made, and A’s people must have thought pretty highly of him.

  5. coachofall 5 years ago

    People always forget that teams like the A’s get money through revenue sharing which they decide to spend on risks. Two years ago it was Holliday (after throwing tons of coin at Furcal), last year Sheets (after throwing tons of coing at Beltre), this year Iwakuma. They don’t draw at the ballpark but they receive a healthy chunk, like most teams from the larger market squads. Remember last year when the Marlins were bullied by the MLBPA into putting the Revenue sharing money back into the team? That has and will never happen in Oakland because they take this “extra” money and put it onto the field.
    I think this is going to set up some interesting off-season trade scenarios. One name to keep an eye on will be Matt Kemp. LA needs pitching and A’s need young offense with upsde.

    • jpshark 5 years ago

      I’ve actually been predicting a trade for Matt Kemp for the past couple months. It makes a lot of sense for both sides, and there is already a trade history between the A’s and Dodgers. The A’s cant sign FA hitters to save their life, but they really havent had much trouble getting pitchers because of the spacious, hitter friendly park that is the coliseum. They can afford to sign a FA pitcher or two, and turn around and flip a couple of the current group. This is the way they’ll have to operate for awhile, or at least until the San Jose thing happens.

    • sacu 5 years ago

      A’s never spent money on Holliday. He was part of the CarGon trade.

      • melonis_rex 5 years ago

        But they gave up young talent (Cargon/Smith/Street) to get him.

        In other words, gave up ridiculously cheap players for player who’s a year away from FA and made a much, much bigger salary in ’09.

        So yes, they did spend money.

        • sacu 5 years ago

          Thank you, Mr. Obvious. However, spending money on a player and trading for a player are two different things. Just because they were the losers in that trade does not mean they spent money. They may have lost a valuable player(s) and therefore lost money, however, that does not equate to spending money. If you can’t understand that, please don’t ever go in to business for yourself.

          • richphillies 5 years ago

            So, Holliday cost them no money then? Maybe it’s you who shouldn’t go into business.

          • sacu 5 years ago

            Can someone here please learn to read!? I was originally responding to coachofall when he said “People always forget that teams like the A’s get money through revenue sharing which they decide to spend on risks. Two years ago it was Holliday”

            If you read his first sentence he speaks about the A’s spending revenue sharing MONEY on risks. That’s money, CASH, not players that are worth money. Yes, the Holliday deal cost them money, that which they lost through losing a valuable commodity like CarGon, however, they did not spend any money out of pocket.

            I understand nothing is free in this world. I also understand that the A’s lost on that trade. I also understand the difference between losing money that has already been invested in prior deals and spending money out of pocket.

            I’m done explainging myself. Have a great day!

  6. The_Porcupine 5 years ago

    I think the biggest question is what kind of a return can Braden or Marzone bring in a trade. To me, this move is designed to lengthen the rotation so that someone will be expendible to trade. I think Braden has more value of the 2, but I’m not sure he brings a big enough piece for a trade for a major upgrade.

    • Sam_Lee 5 years ago

      Mazzaro? Not much. Braden, something decent, but not a big bat.

  7. moonraker45 5 years ago

    players/teams outside of north america have such an unfair and stupid advantage.

    I mean 16-17 Million posting fee for a 30 year old projected solid #4 starter?

    On the open market a solid 4 would cost, 3-5 million a year tops. It just seems like an investment that you’ll never get a solid return from

    • coachofall 5 years ago

      in the open market these days a solid 4 will be closer to 6-8. Ask Joe Blanton, Ted Lilly, Randy Wolf and the soon to be overpaid De La Rosa

      • moonraker45 5 years ago

        okay, so i under exaggerated.. but joe blanton, ted lilly are proven mid rotation starters. (and blanton is overpaid, which is why he was untradable)

        This is 17 million, plus his contract on top. bringing it around 30 million, for an uproven mlb potential back end starter. still a rip

        • YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

          No one is putting a gun to their heads and I’m sure most of the teams must obviously feel as if the talent is the equivalent to mlb starters of the same skill level. Where’s the advantage?

          • moonraker45 5 years ago

            The advantage is that college and high school north americans, and schools they come from don’t see a tenth of the money that the international community sees. . I mean essentially the nats paid less for strasburg, then the a’s will pay in posting fees for iwakuma..

            I’m not saying to stop international players from playing in the mlb. I’m saying something should be done to restrict how much money the player can recieve or club can recieve..

            In a perfect world, everyone would have to go through the draft.

          • richphillies 5 years ago

            The posting fee goes to the Japanese team, not to the player. The reason an MLB team has to pay that is the player is under contract.

            At least high school and college Americans CAN be drafted. If a Japanese born player starts in the Japanese League, he has to play there TEN YEARS or else go through this posting process. Most aren’t noticed before they play in Japan, so they can’t just go straight from high school to MLB.

        • YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

          No one is putting a gun to their heads and I’m sure most of the teams must obviously feel as if the talent is the equivalent to mlb starters of the same skill level. Where’s the advantage?

    • safari_punch 5 years ago

      I would be interested to see the financial books on how much extra revenue Japanese players that stick on the MLB team and are productive regulars are worth to a team.

      I don’t think you could find a solid number four anywhere that is a draw in terms of gate or anything else that will move merchandise like a Japanese player on an MLB team.

      • moonraker45 5 years ago

        you’re over reaching on the marketing and merchandising. Not ALL japanese players sell, only the good ones. if ichiro was a super utility player would he have the draw that he has now? no, not even close..

        So its hard to suggest that a number 4 starter will draw that much attention. He’s not a star.

        • safari_punch 5 years ago

          I don’t think you read what I wrote. I said “productive” – not the So Taguichi’s of the world.

          If Iwakuma is the second best pitcher from Japan, you can bet he’ll be helpful in marketing merchandise in Japan. This guy has won pitching awards in the Japanese league. You don’t think that isn’t going to draw attention from the Land of the Rising Sun?

          These stat analyzers need to be taken from a grain of salt. They’re great at predicting things after the fact and telling you “I told you so,” but not the greatest at forecasting success, particularly Japanese League Asian born players. The Athletics are full of number three and number four type starters which means that Iwakuma could actually be a number two with the Athletics.

          A lot hinges on whether batters bite on his split offering.

          • invader3k 5 years ago

            Japanese players in MLB always get a lot of attention, regardless of how good they really are. I remember several years ago during the regular season, the Brewers were playing the Rays (I think). Tomo Ohka was pitching for the Brewers, and Hideo Nomo was starting for Tampa Bay (this was at the tail end of his career). It was a huge deal in Japan, and they were showing the broadcast from over there in clips during the game.

            I don’t doubt getting a Japanese pitcher will give Oakland some exposure and additional revenue.

          • sportsfan07 5 years ago

            Are you serious a team full of #3 and #4 guys? They have the best rotation ERA and the best pitching staff ERA in the AL. I don’t think you can get that kind of production out of a bunch of Randy Wolf, AJ Burnett, etc. type guys.

          • DMartAsFan 5 years ago

            Cahill did pretty good with the split this last year. Almost a 20 game winner missing the first month of the season. Finished the season with a 2.97 era, Gio with a 3.23, Braden with a 3.50, and Anderson in 19 starts finished with a 2.80. Idk if that considers the A’s staff “full of three and number four type starters”, but that sounds pretty good to me.

  8. pastlives 5 years ago

    This begs a few questions for me – do the A’s really think they can compete this year with the expected spending of the angels and the presence of the Rangers? If the answer is no, why didn’t they just save their money next year for Darvish??

    • jpshark 5 years ago

      The answer is yes. With one of, if not the best starting pitching staff(s) in the league to go along with a very good bullpen and defense, this team is only a couple bats away from being a very good ballclub. Theres no doubt that the division is going to be tough next season, but the A’s will be competitive and right there in it with a couple solid moves this offseason.

  9. They don’t need to spend that much on a starting pitcher. If you want a potential # 4 starter, I have a name for you…Josh Outman. And the best part is, he’s already in the organization. The A’s need a hitter, not another pitcher.

  10. 7lifelongAsfan5 5 years ago

    I have a question….what do you think it would take to get McGehee from the Brewers or Wright from the Mets? I think package Braden and Kouz for McGehee or add mazarro to that for Wright. Sign Ordonez and the A’s could be the favorites in the West next year. Of course pending what the Rangers and Angels do.

    • coachofall 5 years ago

      Wright will cost you a starting point of Cahill or Anderson. Tha is just my opinion, and I don’t think i would bite at that if I were Oakland.

    • jpshark 5 years ago

      I’m hoping the A’s don’t even consider McGehee if the conversation starts with ANY of Cahill/Anderson/Gio Gonzalez. I think it would be a mistake to buy into one solid season from a guy who’s track record suggests he won’t consistently put up numbers like 2010 at the MLB level. He might be an upgrade over Kouzmanoff but i’m thinking not by much, if at all. For Wright? I would think one of Anderson/Cahill + Mazzaro and at least a couple out of Carter/Taylor/Green/Donaldson/Cardenas/Stassi.

      • Sam_Lee 5 years ago

        2 seasons and if you don’t want to trade anyone with value it doesn’t matter. Kouzmanoff could be picked up after he’s cut, but he’s not worth it.

        • Kouzmanoff had a 2.9 WAR last year – better than Michael Young, Pablo Sandoval, and Casey Blake. He’s not getting non-tendered. Yeah his bat might need quite a bit of polish but groundballers like Cahill, Braden, and apparently Iwakuma need spectacular defense, and the A’s infield had the #1 UZR in baseball last season.

          http://lesoaklandas.blogspot.com

      • Sam_Lee 5 years ago

        2 seasons and if you don’t want to trade anyone with value it doesn’t matter. Kouzmanoff could be picked up after he’s cut, but he’s not worth it.

  11. Another pitcher the A’s can trade away to flourish elsewhere…haha

    • Like Barry Zito, oh….wait

      or Dan Haren…….ummmm kinda I guess

      oh, oh, like Mark Mulder…….hold on

      Wait who are the pitchers that flourished?

      • Hudson! But your point stands.

        • Yeah Hudson did well, but to say he flourished compared to what he did in Oakland might be a stretch. Oakland definitely got the raw end of that deal, but I would say Oakland knew Hudson was regressing and was injury prone.

  12. jdkladsjl 5 years ago

    The A’s have many trade pieces that they can offer teams for the big bat bats that they need mazzaro,outman, Ross, etc try are rumored to be looking for power at 3b sonmaybe a trade with mazzaro and kouzmanoff involved could just do that.

  13. bleachercreature 5 years ago

    congratulations to the Oakland As for wasting millions of dollars just for a chance to waste millions of dollars. I hope i’m wrong, but seriously, when will teams learn that they’re not getting the worth they’re hoping for from the amount of money they’re spending?

    Isn’t there a loophole in Japan where if you officially retire from Japanese baseball you can then freely sign with the MLB without having to go through the posting process? Why don’t players use that method more often, that way their overall decreased price might entice more teams to be interested and therefore may even end up in a bidding war.

    The posting process just seems to be a way to narrow down a player’s suitors to fringe teams looking to make headlines or competitive teams overpaying for a player who will get double the money his statistical equals will get. It just doesn’t seem worth it, especially for the As who will now be sacrificing one of their young starters, who may very well be better or equal to a guy who is only of any interest to the team because of where he comes from. Would the As have pursued him if he was just an MLB free agent? I doubt it.

    I guess marketing and merchandising is a part of the decision, but seriously, it will probably take his first year to pay back the money he cost and that’s if he’s dominate. More realistically it will probably take a season or two to pay back the posting fee with merchandising and hopefully by then his on field production is up to par so as to still make them money. If in a year or two he’s viewed as a bust then he won’t be making the team very much money.

    Only time will tell I guess, the guy could end up being great.

    • Shikikazu 5 years ago

      That is was used by foreign players that signed in Japan specifically I only remember it being used by Alfonso Soriano to come here, most Japanese players will not do this because your disrespecting the NPB and you will get criticism in Japan. Also if you plan to play in Japan again one day if your MLB days are over you’ll regret using the loophole.

    • I think your severely overrating how much merchandising he’s gonna bring in. $16 or 17 mill over two years is impossible, more like 10% of that at most…Dice K only brought in around a million to the Red Sox when you factor how the MLB licensing shares it with the rest of the league. I doubt there’s gonna be a exclusive Japanese tv deal to show the A’s but that’s where the money would be made.Sure he will bring in a few more Japanese fans to the ballpark but his worth will only be close to the posting fee/contract if he leads them to the playoffs=$$$$$

  14. This is a bit of a strange move for Oakland, especially with the posting fee they’re paying. You can never have too much pitching but this could be Estaban Loiaza Part II.

  15. If the A’s rolled the dice on this guy for this price, they should go all out now. Why not offer one of Anderson/Cahill/Gonzalez + 2 good minor leaguers for Adrian Gonzalez (+ his extension)?

    With Chavez terrible contract going away, they could tolerate A-gon own big contract, and actually get good production. This is something the A’s should at least considerate.

    • SG10 5 years ago

      because they have daric barton already, and need an outfielder/3b?

      • Sam_Lee 5 years ago

        Travis Buck and Kouzmanoff

        • melonis_rex 5 years ago

          Agree with you on Kouzmanoff, although Travis Buck is pretty much done.

  16. I’m so happy about this!! The A’s have always been one of my 3 favorite teams, and now I really finally feel that they’re really gonna get to the playoffs.

    Now trade Vin Mazzaro and Dallas Braden for a slugger and sign Magglio Ordoñez!

  17. Flharfh 5 years ago

    Maybe the A’s are going to go after Prince Fielder with their SP depth? Maybe a blockbuster deal of multiple SPs for Fielder and Casey McGhee?

    Fielder immediately becomes the best hitter in their lineup, McGhee the third or fourth best. Fielder can DH and spell Barton at 1B, McGhee fills a hole at 3B. The Brewers get at least two major league ready SPs back from the A’s, (or one and prospects) exactly what they want.

    A’s lose a little at the back end of the rotation, but they immediately become contenders in the AL West with a solid rotation and hitters Fielder, McGhee, Barton, Ellis, Suzuki, etc.

    • sacu 5 years ago

      Please!!!! No Prince Fielder, unless of course he loses 100 lbs.

      I’ll take A-Gon or Manny Ramirez any day over Prince.

      • Sam_Lee 5 years ago

        lol – will another team fall for Manram? Yeah, he’s way better than fatty Prince. Not as many HRs, doubles, singles, and walks but he’s got the cool dreads.

        • sacu 5 years ago

          Well I never said Manny was better than Prince. I’d just rather see the A’s gamble on Manny with a one or two year contract than trade away young pitching for a one year rental. However, I do understand A-Gon would also be a one year rental.

        • sacu 5 years ago

          Well I never said Manny was better than Prince. I’d just rather see the A’s gamble on Manny with a one or two year contract than trade away young pitching for a one year rental. However, I do understand A-Gon would also be a one year rental.

      • jephdood 5 years ago

        Whoever nabs Fielder will also need to try and pick up Sandoval. Keep the infield balanced like two fat kids on a see-saw.

  18. Ian_Smell 5 years ago

    It doesn’t seem like five years ago that the A’s had Loaiza. It seems like it was a lot more recent.

  19. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    Best rotation in baseball gets potentially better.

    • suPaFreaK 5 years ago

      Yes the Bay Area rotations are monstrous…Giants though are the proven ones after their World Series run, but if the A’s get in the playoffs they have just as much chance as the Giants to win it all with their defense and pitching…

      • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

        If someone asked who has the better pitching staff between the A’s and Giants then my bet is it would become a drop your drawers and pull out the measuring tape contest. Especially in the Bay Area. But yeah, if Oakland could get some offense in there they could be a terror in the AL.

  20. The way I see this is more for publicity, that is the only way I can see this guy paying off for the A’s. Yeah he has good stuff in Japan, but the US? Time will tell, but more times than not Japanese pitchers do not pitch as well. So to shell out $17 mill just to negotiate a contract with him, is a little much, but if it will bring more people to the ballpark, as a needed 4th guy to the rotation, and provide more publicity for the A’s, then its not a bad move if the added revenue from him, pays off the money spent.

  21. Scott_T 5 years ago

    I don’t like this move, the A’s already had excess depth @ Starting Pitcher, they should have saved that money for a slugger.

    Although this does make me hopeful that the A’s will trade Braden, who I really don’t care for.

    • moonraker45 5 years ago

      They’ll probably get a better bat through trade then on the market anyways.

      30 mil for iwakuma, then flip an arm for a decent bat

      better then going after werth for 90 mil

  22. Ok… So the A’s, if/when they come to terms on a contract with Iwakuma, I think Dallas Braden, Vin Mazzaro, and Tyson Ross should all be expendable for the best possible hitter they can net. Josh Outman can just take the remaining spot in the rotation, he was the A’s best pitcher throught the first few weeks of the 2009 season, and missed time due to TJ surgery, and we will see again if pitchers really do come back stronger from TJ surgery.

    After they trade for a bat, sign Hideki Matsui or Magglio Ordoñez, and the A’s are in business. Chris Carter, Hideki Matsui, another bat, and their great pitching+defense should be a force in the AL West. I know who I’m rooting for.

  23. Honestly as an A’s fan I don’t like the move. Signing a guy as a 4th starter for $17 million makes little sense to me. Is that why I’m not a fan? No. I doubt Beane would spend $17 million on the posting fee for a 4th starter (let alone whatever his contract is) and keep everyone who made up the rotation last year. If anything I’m scared Gio or Cahill get traded. I doubt they’ll trade Anderson because he’s such a unique talent plus the recent contract. Still, I have a hard time believing that Vin Mazzaro will net a ton in return.

    http://lesoaklandas.blogspot.com

  24. To All A’s Fans:

    I don’t care what NPB (Japanese baseball) “specialists” on the blogosphere told you, but I’ve watched tons of NPB games (mainly the Pacific League, where Iwakuma’s from), and Iwakuma is not your typical forkballer who gives up home runs (say, the erratic Nomo after he left Dodgers, and his prime years?).

    He’s a groundballer with a solid repertoire and much command to show.

    Groundball specialist + good command + good A’s defense = marry in heaven.

    He’s worth more than DiceK, IMHO. That’s a solid number 2 in your rotation, and that’s what Billiy Beane is looking at RIGHT NOW. And I must say Beane is a genius for spotting this guy and posting for him.

    –CHICAGOintaipei

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