Iwakuma’s Agent Tweets His Side

Talks between the Athletics and Hisashi Iwakuma broke off on Saturday, and his agent Don Nomura has taken to Twitter to explain why.

Nomura says the A's offered a four-year, $15.25MM deal, for an average of $3.8125MM per year.  The team was using Kei Igawa (five years, $20MM) and Colby Lewis (two years, $5MM) as comparables, while Nomura countered with Hiroki Kuroda (three years, $35.3MM) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (six years, $52MM).  The A's pointed to their $19.1MM posting fee, but Nomura wanted to keep the pitcher's contract separate (presumably since Iwakuma wouldn't see any of the posting fee money).  Nomura remains open to a deal since the sides have until December 8th, though he suggests the A's are now "hunting two free agent pitchers."  He finished by noting that the team's offer to Adrian Beltre "was just a PR" move.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle broke the story yesterday; her blog post was updated with similar information prior to Nomura's barrage of tweets.  Her source pegs the posting fee at $18MM.  In either case, Iwakuma would have cost the A's over $8MM a year.  In my opinion, that commitment was already plenty risky.


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42 Comments on "Iwakuma’s Agent Tweets His Side"


wickedkevin
4 years 9 months ago

I completely understand Iwakuma and his agent throwing the posting fee argument to the side. They will not see any of that money if he signs with the A’s. However, comparing yourself to Diasuke is silly. He was a national icon and WBC MVP. Not to mention we are comparing someone who received a $15m posting fee to a $51m posting fee for Matsuzaka.

bbxxj
4 years 9 months ago

I wonder if the A’s were willing to pay 8M a year for four years to Iwakuma would they be willing to trade for Kawakami? If all they have to beat is the rumored 3M offer from the Japanese team they could add their fifth starter at a much lower cost in years and money and still have a Japanese presence to help lure Matsui to DH.

If Iwakuma is ‘just a guy’ like some have said it would make sense to get another guy who has had some success in the states for much less.

strikethree
4 years 9 months ago

This guy, according to scouts, is a fifth starter — not a Kuroda nor a Matsuzaka.

I’m not sure if it’s his agent (as it looks like it may be) or Iwakuma’s inflated ego but someone here is misinformed. Is his agent really looking for sympathy when he’s the one that compared Iwakuma (a guy that hasn’t even thrown a big league pitch) to Kuroda and Matsuzaka?

Good job by the A’s to just say no and move on. If Iwakuma really wanted a decent contract then he should prove his talents by ditching his agent and accepting a one year deal.

wickedkevin
4 years 9 months ago

It’s a good job by the A’s except that they already threw away $15 million. But yes, I agree, the smart thing at this point is to move on. If he really is just some guy, then why did teams even want him? More importantly, why were they willing to spend millions just to negotiate?

To touch on your other point of his agent or his ego: I think it’s most likely the ego of both. But I believe it’s a Japanese ego. By that I mean neither have realized the risk teams face when bringing in a Japanese player into the MLB. There is so much adjustment time needed along with a complete change in talent levels.

4 years 9 months ago

The posting fee is refunded if a deal can’t be reached.

wickedkevin
4 years 9 months ago

Had no idea, thank you.

Jason_F
4 years 9 months ago

This agent has some big brass ones. Taking to Twitter not only to complain about his negotiations and give all of the details, but also to comment on another player’s negotiations (Beltre)? I’m sure this is frowned upon in the world of agents, GMs, etc…..

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

I agree, he should focus on his own client and not piss off the guys who could end up giving him his biggest commision cheque.

jpshark
4 years 9 months ago

I agree, no reason to attack A’s management when your side is the one being unreasonable. Also, knowing how Billy Beane works and his policy on not discussing free agents, Nomura has no idea whats going on with the Beltre situation. It’s pure speculation and probably a lot of spite on his part. And i’m sorry, if the A’s weren’t genuinely interested in signing Beltre, they wouldn’t have opened with such an aggressive offer (that may not even be matched at this point).

Sam_Lee
4 years 9 months ago

You’re speculating on what his agent knew. It could have been part of the discussion related to what the team will look like that the guy has to pitch for. It could also have been conversation. Just because Beane doesn’t tell the media things, sure doesn’t mean that nobody ever knows anything.

jpshark
4 years 9 months ago

Ok so telling the player/agent “Ya were not serious on Beltre, just using it as a PR move” is going to work in Beane’s favor how? He’s trying to get the guy to sign on with his team. Showing a team wants to add on and win is likely a better negotiating tactic then saying “ya were not serious about adding offense, so we just throw up a bunch of flares to make it look like we want to compete. Don’t worry, we have no real intention of fielding an offense capable of supporting the pitching staff”. Come on.

guest_54
4 years 9 months ago

Not only would Beltre have provided offense to back the pitcher, his defense is also considered to be top notch as well. So, I totally agree. If anything, Beane would have been suggesting that they are serious in negotiating with Beltre because he makes the team (and the pitcher) better. Makes no sense to have told the agent otherwise.

4 years 9 months ago

That said, the Beltre offer is exactly as described by Nomura.

Beane is a manipulator, and if he can start the bidding off high in order to invest more of his rivals’ capital in a player he’s not interested in, that will help him in other negotiations with targets he is interested in for years to come (if the rivals don’t have the money to throw around, it makes his job much easier).

Worst-case scenario is that Beltre doesn’t get a better offer (slim chance of that) and they get him. I can almost guarantee that several teams will outbid him, tho.

-C

4 years 9 months ago

Really, you think that its a PR move when its the 2nd year in a row that Beane is actively and aggressively going after Beltre?

4 years 9 months ago

Really, you think that its a PR move when its the 2nd year in a row that Beane is actively and aggressively going after Beltre?

jpshark
4 years 9 months ago

Ok, and this is beyond major assumption on your part. Beltre has yet to find a team willing to go 5 years, let alone at $13mm annually. Beltre’s camp can use Hunter’s 5/90 deal all they want, it ain’t happening. Beane made an aggressive bid to weed out the “tire kickers” and get down to what its really going to take. And considering this is the 2nd year in a row the A’s have made an aggressive offer to Beltre, i’m thinking maybe the evil, manipulitive man that Beane is might actually want Beltre to come be a part of his evil, little manipulitive team out there in Oakland.

jpshark
4 years 9 months ago

Ok, and this is beyond major assumption on your part. Beltre has yet to find a team willing to go 5 years, let alone at $13mm annually. Beltre’s camp can use Hunter’s 5/90 deal all they want, it ain’t happening. Beane made an aggressive bid to weed out the “tire kickers” and get down to what its really going to take. And considering this is the 2nd year in a row the A’s have made an aggressive offer to Beltre, i’m thinking maybe the evil, manipulitive man that Beane is might actually want Beltre to come be a part of his evil, little manipulitive team out there in Oakland.

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

Makes little sense considering all the teams that are targeting him are big market teams who won’t die with an extra year 5 years from now at 16 million.. Especially given the fact that if the Red Sox end up signing him to a 5 year deal, Beane will gain absolutely no benefit from this.

jpshark
4 years 9 months ago

Its been reported a couple different times now that Boston is not willing to commit a 5th year, and aside from the 4 year offer that Pittsburgh is supposed to have on the table there is no clear level of interest from any other team. I am sure the Angels are in on things but I truly believe their #1 priority is Crawford. I understand its been said that Moreno will spend this offseason, but I find it unlikely that LAA is wanting to commit $15mm annually for 5 years on Beltre when its probably going to take $100mm+ and 6+ years to sign Crawford. Lets also keep in mind that its November, and nobody said this would be Oakland’s final offer (even though I’m hoping it is).

johnsilver
4 years 9 months ago

Agreed. -0- chance Epstein, Duquette, even loveable Lou Gorman would give Beltre 5/90m. Boras needs to go back to CA and dream up some more fantasy for another of his clients.

4 years 9 months ago

In stating that it is a PR move, does that mean the A’s never offered Beltre that money? Did they lie? I’m confused. If they did lie, Beltre and his agent could easily refute the reports. If the A’s didn’t lie, then they have the strongest offer on the table right now. How is that simply a PR move?

4 years 9 months ago

Maybe’s Boras made 5/64M up to get the Angel’s to bite?

4 years 9 months ago

By the way, C, I understand your line of reasoning, but it’s not likely the case.

4 years 9 months ago

Wrong-C. first it is A’s policy not to comment on any free agent they are dealing with. Beltre offer was said by a reporter after another reporter said it was much less. Neither said it came from the A’s organization but from unnamed sources. Get it Boras. Don’t forget when Furcal used the A’s contract to send it to 2 other teams to get a better deal. Iwamura wants a 3 year 38 million deal not counting the posting fee. He doesn’t want to sign with the A’s because next year his pitcher is a free agent without posting fees so he may get it from a desperate team.

4 years 9 months ago

Wrong-C. first it is A’s policy not to comment on any free agent they are dealing with. Beltre offer was said by a reporter after another reporter said it was much less. Neither said it came from the A’s organization but from unnamed sources. Get it Boras. Don’t forget when Furcal used the A’s contract to send it to 2 other teams to get a better deal. Iwamura wants a 3 year 38 million deal not counting the posting fee. He doesn’t want to sign with the A’s because next year his pitcher is a free agent without posting fees so he may get it from a desperate team.

4 years 9 months ago

Strasburg got 4 yrs/15.1 mil. There is no way an unproven player should get much more than that. Even if he is closer to 30-years-old than 20. Sure he was a college pitcher and recovering from Tommy John, but I’d still bet that Strasburg puts up a higher WAR for his first contract than Iwakuma puts up during his major league career.

4 years 9 months ago

Agreed – I think they made the correct offered based on consideration that he is a 4th/5th starter at best (unless he comes here and is lights out of course). I don’t think the A’s offer is low balling him.. Look at Colby Lewis who I think is better 1.75M in 2010, 3.25M in 2011..

Hell the offer is slightly better then Lewis 2011 year and for someone who hasn’t proven he is good state side.

BWOzar
4 years 9 months ago

Lewis is a bad comparable here because he had already pitched in America and failed, unlike Kuroda, Matsuzaka and Igawa.

Shikikazu
4 years 9 months ago

Iwakuma makes 5 Mill+ per year with his current contract and endorsements, Iwakuma was better than Igawa in Japan and better than Kuroda and if Kuroda got (three years, $35.3MM) and never pitched in the MLB when he signed the contract and was older why shouldn’t a younger Iwakuma who has better stats than Kuroda he basically is a better version of Kuroda who induces a large amount of ground balls while getting strikeouts. He can top out at 95 and has a 4 pitch arsenal. The scout is just making excuses to make his team look like Iwakuma is no big deal

4 years 9 months ago

I think one of the difference though with Kuroda was he declared Free Agency and did not have a posting fee.

Shikikazu
4 years 9 months ago

Wouldn’t a 3 year 6 mill/3 contract even it out then Posting fee of 18 mill + 6Mill/3yr = to 36 mill which is closer to Kuroda’s 3/35.3 than your proposed 2 Mill salary. Also you need to account that Iwakuma is better and younger which should give him a pay increase. A 29 Yr old Kuroda is worth more than a 33 yr old Kuroda same with Iwakuma obviously so compensate him for it

Shikikazu
4 years 9 months ago

You can’t compare Strasburg’s contract to one Iwakuma deserves, Strasburg is a draftee and a #1 pick top of the line talent a 4 yr/15.1 Mill contract is a kings ransom for someone in the draft but Iwakuma is in his PRIME he already makes 5 Mill+ playing in Japan why play for less. He has proven himself in the WBC with numbers comparable to Daisukes and is a top 5(2) NPB pitcher with numerous awards. Hes proven himself in a level above triple A which means his success has better chance of translating than most. A good contract for Iwakuma would be 7mill Yr/3 or 4 with 2 mill in incentives otherwise take a 30 something year old 5th starter like Garland or Millwood and take a hike

safari_punch
4 years 9 months ago

Give the man his money Beane!

4 years 9 months ago

No thanks – he is not worth more then 3.8M a year – Beane should just use the money to help sign a COF.

AsFanDFW
4 years 9 months ago

Now Beane has shown that he has $8M to spend on this guy plus $13M for Beltre. As a loyal A’s fan, I am expecting him to take this money and use it to get us two players we actually need. I’m looking for two power hitters, and every A’s fan should be expecting the same.

Shikikazu
4 years 9 months ago

(continuation)The A’s tried to low ball Iwakuma, He is Japan’s premiere groundball pitcher who already makes 5 mill + in Japan. He was BETTER than Igawa and Kuroda in Japan, only Daisuke Matsuzaka put up better numbers. What the scout says is BS he’s at least a 3 or 4 starter on a top team maybe a 2 or 1 on the Pirates. When Kuroda came here he was 32 and got 3/35 and Iwakuma is 29 put up better numbers and more praised in Japan than Kuroda so why should he get less than what he makes in Japan they want to pay him as much as Igawa cause they are cheapskates.

Shikikazu
4 years 9 months ago

Igawa wasn’t that good in Japan he was basically .500 pitcher in 2004 and 2005 before he got posted and was briefly sent to the minors. The Yankees were desperate and Hanshin was skeptical of Igawa why else would they post a 26 YR old and under control Igawa if he was actually the real deal

jpshark
4 years 9 months ago

Susan Slusser is saying over on Athleticsnation.com that she has confirmed the posting fee was $19.1mm and that on top of that he is asking for $12mm a season. Why are people even questioning the A’s reasoning on walking away from this?

4 years 9 months ago

Anyone that’s followed Japanese players in MLB should be familiar with Don Nomura’s sometimes brash negotiating tactics. He’s the same guy that found a loophole; convinced Nomo & Soriano to ‘retire’ in Japan to bring them to the States.

Anyone that watched the most recent WBC should have seen that Iwakuma’s performance was far more impressive than Matsuzaka’s.

4 years 9 months ago

Hmm – I just hope this brash negotiating tactic does not ruin the relationship between the A’s and the Golden Eagle.

4 years 9 months ago

I still think this guy doesn’t want to pitch for anyone but maybe LA, SEA or NYY, so he’s just making an outrageous demand, knowing full well that Beane won’t accept and he can go back home and then get re-posted next year.

4 years 8 months ago

I do understand why Iwakuma is trying to get the most he can in his first ML contract. At 29 years old, he can’t take afford to take a small deal, prove his worth, and hope for a large payday in his next deal. This is his payday! Is he worth what he’s asking? probably not. but I’m sure a happy medium of 6-6.5 a season would get the job done. Does anyone know the process once a claiming team fails to reach an agreement? I assume it just sort of starts over with new deadlines to follow.