Bidding For Iwakuma Closes, Mariners The Favorite?

NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman passes along a report saying that the bidding has closed for Japanese righty Hisashi Iwakuma (via Twitter), and a report from Sports Hochi (article in Japanese) indicates that the Mariners appear to be the favorite to land him. More than one team submitted a bid, and Seattle reportedly wagered $13MM.

The above reports indicate that Iwakuma prefers the West Coast, but neither the Angels nor Dodgers planned to submit a bid. Both the Yankees and Diamondbacks scouted him during the season, though whether or not they chose to pursue him remains to be seen. The Rakuten Golden Eagles were hoping to land $16MM-17MM in the posting process, though it appears they might fall a little short of that.

The Mariners have a long history with Japanese-born players, none more notable that Ichiro Suzuki. In recent years they've also employed Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Kazuhiro Sasaki, and Kenji Johjima, among others.

42 Responses to Bidding For Iwakuma Closes, Mariners The Favorite? Leave a Reply

  1. AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs 5 years ago

    I read this as “Bidding for Igawa”…

  2. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    This guy went 21-4 2 years ago and had another good season last year. I think he will do great in Seattle.

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Eh, star pitchers in Japan often have trouble adapting to the many changes in the MLB. I’ll wait to see him pitch in this country before passing judgment.

      • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

        Remember though, Safeco…

        • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

          True true… certainly changes the odds, but it’s still a heavier ball, a different style of game, longer season, less rest between starts…

          • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

            Good point. I still think the odds are in his favor. They are going to ease him in.

          • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

            It does help that he’s a ground ball pitcher… but again, believe when I see it.

          • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

            “but again, believe when I see it.”

            You mean “We’ll” believe it when “we” see it…

            (you and I are a team purp)

          • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

            This one works out you get to GM the Royals, I’ll manage.

          • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

            Sounds good to me. Can’t think of a better duo. Can’t even think of a better duo at anything…

          • myname_989 5 years ago

            Hall and Oates?

          • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

            Doesn’t do it

          • Captain and Tenille? Sonny and Cher? Donnie and Marie??? Any of those doing it for you? I can hear it now, Span and Purp, right up there with the greats.

      • MB923 5 years ago

        “Eh, star pitchers in Japan often have trouble adapting to the many changes in the MLB”

        Only in NY

  3. Shikikazu 5 years ago

    Hernandez Iwakuma Bedard(if he is healthy and will most likely come back) Vargas Fister
    If Bedard is not healthy it will be Luke French in his place (Jamey Wright will be gone) and Pineda will take over the #5 spot late in the season

    Bullpen is a mess a bunch of mess before Aardsma and he’s not great either (bullpen needs a lot of work)
    hopefully in 2012 we can use the posting system again if Iwakuma works out and rotation can be:
    Hernandez Darvish Iwakuma Vargas Pineda/Bedard/Fister

  4. yazpik 5 years ago

    I love this move, I love Seattle, and I love Japanese players when are in the M´s,

    The next will be Darvish and Nakajima

  5. Eric 5 years ago

    Hisashi Iwakuma would be an important addition in Seattle. He appears to throw great breaking pitches that cause hitters to put the ball on the ground. A 3YR deal should work out nicely for both sides.

    The M’s have a long way to go before contention is conceivable, but this addition is a good start.

  6. yazpik 5 years ago

    Fister/ Bedard

  7. Gibbo71 5 years ago

    Pineda will start the season in AAA so we dont start hist service clock too early. If Bedard can start healthy then maybe we go get him, but I would rather we went after soemone else as it’s time for both parties to move on. Maybe we go get Chris Young or I would love Aaron Harang – but he may cost too much.

  8. Gibbo71 5 years ago

    With Jack Z who knows who he may go get, but this would be a good start getting Iwakuma

  9. wait so seattle has him for sure? why are the dbacks and yankees mentioned??

    • n0s 5 years ago

      He was speculating on teams who could have bid on him seeing as how they were known to be scouting Iwakuma.

  10. safari_punch 5 years ago

    Hope he pans out and batters bite on his fork ball.

  11. cubfan4life 5 years ago

    Seattle is a great landing spot for japanese players. Much less of a culture shock then what they get by going to Boston, Atlanta, or even NY. I think that is why they tend to have a better chance at success and also they end up in one of the weakish divisions. This is also why i think they could match up nicely in a Dice-K trade.
    A rotation with Felix, Dice-K, Iwakuma, Vargas and Pineda. Not too bad. or if they dont want to go for Matsuzaka they could bring in a FA like Garland who would thrive there in that park with those OFers. I dont think they are as far away as most people seem to. most people i talk to seem to think that they are at least 3-5 years away. I think that they could compete next year. They have good young talent there and at AAA with guys like Smoak, Moore, Pineda, Ackley, and you could even still add in Felix and Gutierrez.

    Just a couple of moves could make this a competitive team IMO.

    Jack Wilson and Cash to whoever will take him.
    Saunders, Rob Johnson, Triunfel, and a Minor League Pitcher to TB for Shields and Bartlett.
    They could try and get Fielder but it would take probably Ackley, Smoak, And Pineda so thats out but another Brewer could be a nice add and thats Corey Hart. Price probably wouldnt be too high and he would give them a solid LF.

    That would make your rotation look like this
    Felix, Shields, Iwakuma, Pineda, and Vargas/French/Fister/Pauley
    OFers Hart, Gutierrez and Ichiro
    3B Figgins SS Bartlett 2B A one year fill in maybe Ryan Theriot til Ackley is ready 1B Smoak and C Moore with a vet backup (Olivo)


    • n0s 5 years ago

      Would be pretty nice on MLB: The Show.

      • cubfan4life 5 years ago

        its not that much of a stretch. TB will make a pitcher available whether its Shields or Garza. Bartlett is already available. Theriot is a FA who can play both 2B and SS who will be affordable on a 1yr deal. There are no shortage of veteran Catchers who can put up solid number if Adam Moore falters. Olivo, Barajas, Ramon Hernandez, and maybe even AJ Pierzynski.

        The only name i mentioned that could be difficult to pull off is Corey Hart and he was on the block last year.

    • Shikikazu 5 years ago

      Rob Johnson has no value, Triunfel has no value, and Saunders value is low right now this won’t get you Shields no matter what and it could be enough to get Bartlett barely. Might as well just go sign a FA SS like Theriot and keep Saunders and release Rob Johnson and outright Triunfel

  12. joethewest 5 years ago

    Saunders is going to be a 25+ HR hitter annually and Dustin Ackley is one of the best collegiate players of the decade. It’s only a matter of time before Adam Moore starts hitting like he has in AAA. None of them should be going anywhere.

    Does no one remember David Ortiz, Jason Varitek and Grady Sizemore?

  13. joethewest 5 years ago

    Saunders is going to be a 25+ HR hitter annually and Dustin Ackley is one of the best collegiate players of the decade. It’s only a matter of time before Adam Moore starts hitting like he has in AAA. None of them should be going anywhere.

    Does no one remember David Ortiz, Jason Varitek and Grady Sizemore?

  14. BayBall510 5 years ago

    Don’t be surprised if he lands in Oakland, as per Rosenthal. A’s have had working agreement with Iwakuma’s Rakuten team and Beane has money to spend. Got a feeling A’s are going to be very aggressive this offseason.

  15. A huge park in Safeco will be just right for him. Could be a great addition to the M’s.

  16. Bitter much?

  17. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    According to my calculations, it’s approximatley 9:12 ET, and this post was written 27 minutes ago. So there is no way that “AllYourBaseBelongsToUs” tries to be the first comment by writing anything random because he had 2-3 minutes free while no one had posted before him. So he didn’t rush and try to be #1. This is all just my detective like skills. Your Welcome.

  18. AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs 5 years ago

    I was already on MLBTR and happened to refresh the page and this articlepopped up. I like being first laughing out loud, but I wasn’t trying. I wasn’t trying to write anything random either, I really did read ‘Iwakuma’ as ‘Igawa’ they look very similar with a quick take.

  19. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    I know, and thats why I defended you.

  20. AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs 5 years ago

    The jury is still out on Tazawa, and he did alright in some of his starts.

  21. JaySchu 5 years ago

    Poor Kawakami can’t buy a win.

  22. Hideki Okajima, Kazuhiro Suzuki, Takashi Saito, Hisanori Takahashi, Akinori Otsuka. I guess the lesson here is that relievers translate better to MLB than starters do. Some starters have had a modicum of success, Kuroda, Matsuzaka, Nomo…. maybe a few others? Relievers generally are better though, it’s less of a crap shoot.

  23. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    Exactly…He might have cracked the Sox rotation this year as well but he had TJ surgery.

  24. PookieGonzales 5 years ago

    Ya man plus he’s only like what? 24?

  25. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    Exactly. Long career ahead of him.

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