A’s Do Not Reach Deal With Iwakuma

9:32pm: The A's announced they were unable to reach an agreement with Iwakuma and his representatives.

5:20pm: It would be a surprise if the A's reach a deal with Iwakuma, Billy Beane told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link).

3:53pm: There has been no movement between the A's and Iwakuma today, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The deadline for a deal is just over seven hours away.

9:19am: The Athletics and Iwakuma are still talking today, tweets Slusser.  There is a report out of Japan suggesting Iwakuma will return to the Rakuten Golden Eagles, with a press conference due Wednesday.

MONDAY, 12:00am: Slusser hears (Twitter link) that Iwakuma would be able to take his physical after the negotiating deadline, with any agreement being nullified should he fail the physical. As such, talks could continue into Monday.

SUNDAY, 8:46pm: The deal with Iwakuma appears to be dead, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The 29-year-old would need to be in the Bay Area tomorrow for a physical and he is still in Japan.  If a deal is not reached, Oakland will be refunded the $19MM posting fee.

9:05am: With less than 24 hours left to reach an agreement, negotiations between Hisashi Iwakuma and the Athletics are "not looking good," tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. While Oakland's window doesn't officially close at midnight tonight, Slusser explains that an agreement must be reached by then to allow time for a physical (Twitter link).

After the Athletics posted the winning bid for Iwakuma, earning the rights to negotiate with right-hander, it appeared the two sides were far apart, with discussions reaching an impasse. While talks have continued since that point, it seems likely that no agreement will be reached and the A's will have their posting fee returned. As for Iwakuma, one source in Japan who spoke to Slusser thinks that remaining in Japan could be the best outcome for the 29-year-old anyway (Twitter link).


48 Responses to A’s Do Not Reach Deal With Iwakuma Leave a Reply

  1. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    There are 3 good things that come out of this…

    1. The A’s get the posting fee back which means they have 18 or so million dollars to spend.

    2. a trade for a starting pitcher seems likely

    3. Adrian Beltre’s deal seems more likely…

    There is one really bad part of this though. I expected that if Iwakuma signed, Matsui would be really inclined to sign. I’m not saying a deal with Hideki is out of the question, but you have to think that he would rather sign if Iwakuma was here. Still a possibility.

    • not_brooks 5 years ago

      $15M per for a .780 OPS. Woohoo!!!

      • bas_in_denmark 5 years ago

        Derek Jeter says “Hello!”

      • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

        And a great defensive 3B, a hitting machine even if he only gets on base 33%
        of the time. Although if he hits .315, he could put up a .360 On Base %. He
        also gives the A’s power, something that they do not have.

        • not_brooks 5 years ago

          This is a guy who has topped 28 home runs just once in his career.

          What kind of power numbers do you honestly expect him to put up in McAfee? Especially with no one in the lineup to protect him?

          This is a guy who has hit over .276 once in his last six seasons. And that was when he was playing in a hitters park with a damn good lineup around him.

          Beltre has topped a .327 OBP only twice since 2001: Once in his unrepeatable career year and once with said damn good lineup and hitters park in Boston.

          With all of that in mind, how can you realistically expect him to hit more than, say ,265/.315/.470 with maybe 20 home runs in an extreme pitchers park with a weak lineup?

          Beltre would be great on a three year deal or at $10 or $11 million over five. But the A’s are going to regret five years, $75 million if that’s what they end up getting him for.

    • DickAlmighty 5 years ago

      The A’s are out on Beltre. Boras doesn’t let his clients sign with Oakland. This is all bad — the A’s are already being “dissed” by MLB free agents; now they look like chumps putting up a $19 million posting fee, and then not getting a deal done with Iwakuma (yes, they get the fee back, but all of the stories about the negotiaitons make it look as though the A’s weren’t willing to come up to Iwakuma’s asking price… so, the A’s basically continue to look like black sheep and cheapskates, which is how they’ll continue to be perceived until Wolff sells the team).

      • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

        Yes, I wrote that yesterday when the deal was still alive/pending

        • DickAlmighty 5 years ago

          Ahh… my bad.

          Also, agree with Xub below that, to trained eye, the A’s-Iwakuma negotiations reflect poorly on Iwakuma and his agent. His demands, if the reports are accurate, were insane for a fringe 4th-5th SP. But, to the general public and to a lot of agents/executives (I suspect), this will look like yet another example of the A’s being cheapskates and/or not being able to rope in a free agent.

          I may be completely wrong about this, but almost every story about the A’s recently goes back to the same basic premise: The A’s have no money, crap ownership, and no stadium, and there’s no reason anyone would want to play there. This is just another data point for the people wishing to make that the story about the A’s organization.

      • not_brooks 5 years ago

        The reports were that Iwakuma was looking for a Zito-esque contract. And one scout referred to Iwakuma as “Nothing special. Just a guy”.

        With the bits of news that have come out, this doesn’t reflect badly at all on the A’s. It reflects badly on Iwakuma and/or his agent. The A’s are just being sensible. How many Japanese starters have had more than a year or two of success in MLB? Nomo wasn’t much after his first two seasons. Matsuzaka has put up one good year. Kawakami has been terrible. Uehara flamed out as a starter. Not to mention chumps like Irabu and Igawa.

        If Iwakuma was looking for a Kuroda-esque contract (3/$36M) and the A’s flaked, but it doesn’t seem like that’s the case.

  2. Sam_Lee 5 years ago

    If the guy doesn’t sign, I hope there are some more entertaining tweets. I wonder how the movie version of Moneyball will portray Beane. Even the religious zealot fanbase is tiring of the “genius.”

    • not_brooks 5 years ago

      If he doesn’t sign, who cares?

      The A’s get their money back and they move on to Plan B.

      • dc21892 5 years ago

        Very good point. I think he would have been a successful pitcher for them, but we may never know now. Regardless, each team has multiple plans every offseason. The A’s are going to turn out okay.

      • Sam_Lee 5 years ago

        Thankfully there are a lot of letters left.

    • Who cares about a players manager mouthing off on Twitter. The A’s don’t lose anything except the shot to see if he can be a serviceable 5th starter.

      This offseason, John Garland signed a 1 year deal worth 5 million and Javier Vasquez signed a 1 year worth 7 million. Two veteran pitchers that have been slightly better than league average over their careers.

      Why should anyone drop 11-12 million a year plus the posting fee on a pitcher whose ceiling is probably an average 4th or 5th starter.

      • safari_punch 5 years ago

        Increased attendance at home and on the road with Japanese fans;increased merchandise sales; more media coverage – which translates into advertising opportunities and creating more brand awareness; could be better than the 4/5 label that has been slapped on him.Maybe if the Athletics did something a little different in terms of getting attention, rather than the same old Money Ball stuff – which has basically made the team into AAA caliber – fans may come out.Sure it’s a gamble, but sometime you have to role the dice.

        I’d sooner gamble on a Iwakuma before I invested money in someone like Beltre, which will be an albatross of a deal.

        • How many Japanese people are there in Oakland that it would actually make a decent dent in attendance?

          • Jason Champion 5 years ago

            …more than you might expect. It’s the Bay Area, not just Oakland.

          • HipNip2009 5 years ago

            It’s the EAST Bay. The west Bay are predominantly Giants fans, especially now that they’ve won the WS. Californians are notorious front runners.

          • kelvinklein18 5 years ago

            Giants fans? as i recall they are fake giants fans that hid behind their tv’s and once they see the GIANTS make it to the playoffs, they join the bandwagon. Giants fans are notorious for being fake!
            Those are not true fans at all; in my opinion, but i’ll give it to you, you guys won the WS.
            and are any A’s fans annoyed by how people compare us to saying “oh the giants won by their pitching and clutch hitting. The A’s need to do the same thing.”
            hello we were the ones that preached pitching and defense and clutch hitting will give us championships, but it is hard for us to do that when we cannot keep half of our players because our GM calls himself a genius for not doing what he needs to do to put a contending team on the field. Even though we only have 10,000 in the stands. no excuse. the Rays are the exact same but what they did is they kept the big time names with the little money they had and home grown pitching.
            so what I am trying to say is the Beane need to let his actions speak louder than words because quite frankly, it is not fooling any of us and he has only gotten 3 players so far. Dejesus will not fix the problem, konerko,thome,matsui will if we give them the money.
            we only need one big bat.
            to make this line-up
            1. crisp-cf
            2.barton-1b
            3. dejesus/carter lf/rf
            4. konerko/thome/matsui DH
            5. dejesus/carter Lf/Rf
            6.suzuki C
            7.kouz 3b
            8.ellis 2b
            9.pennington SS

            or we package kouz. some money. connor jackson, de los santos and joey devine to the mets for wright (sike)!

          • monster55 5 years ago

            That would be a hilarious trade. Omar’s not running that ship anymore.

        • strikethree 5 years ago

          Just because he is Japanese does not mean all of Japan will watch the guy. (Also, remember that merchandise revenue is shared)

          Scouts describe him as a 4th-5th starter; not exactly who you’re looking for with a multi year deal. The guy isn’t a Kuroda or a Matsuzaka. If you factor in the 19 mil posting fee, the deal would have to be at least 3 years for it to be worth while. (Oakland would be paying 6.3 mil per season — not adjusted for discounted present value — PLUS Iwakuma’s actual salary) Iwakuma wanted 12 mil per season; that mean’s 18.3 mil per season for 3 years. (16.75 mil per season for 4 seasons; 15.8 mil per season for 5 seasons; 15.2 mil per season for 6 seasons)

          That’s almost ace-type money for a FIFTH starter who has never pitched in the major leagues.

          Not worth it.

          • monster55 5 years ago

            Wait, Matsuzaka is an ace?

          • strikethree 5 years ago

            Mid rotation guy. Kuroda isn’t really an ace either.

            My point was they certainly aren’t 5th starters.

        • monster55 5 years ago

          Moneyball didn’t make this team into a “AAA caliber” team, it’s the utter lack of money. So I generally agree with you, but attacking the Moneyball philosophy is wrong unless you want Oakland to magically become to Yankees, Red Sox, or Cubs.

          • DickAlmighty 5 years ago

            Seriously. As I recall, “moneyball” got the A’s into the 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003 playoffs, and took them to the ALCS in 2006, all on a miniscule payroll.

            Slightly better than AAA-caliber. But, you’d only know that if you’d been paying attention to baseball for more than two years.

  3. For him to sign his old team would need to give up 10 million of the posting fee to him. The ball is in the pitchers court since he can wait until next year and sign without a posting fee.

  4. HipNip2009 5 years ago

    What is Billy Beane thinking? He bid $19 million to get his negotiating rights and what does he expect Iwakuma to do, play for $5-6 million? What a waste of time, and it means Iwakuma won’t get a chance to play in the big leagues this year.

    • safari_punch 5 years ago

      He’s a dream crusher. Plain and simple.

      • jpshark 5 years ago

        Wow did Billy Beane or an A’s fan run over your puppy or something? People want to jump off and claim Beane had no business bidding on Iwakuma when NONE of us know the entire story. As soon as it was announced the A’s had won the negotiating rights, reports started coming out that Iwakuma’s total salary would be close to the same as the posting fee. It’s known among MLB people that Iwakuma’s upside is probably that of a #3 starter, but he’ll likely settle in to being a back of the rotation (#4-5) guy. Back end starters don’t make much more then $5-6mm a season. Billy Beane was dead on by not giving into Iwakuma’s demands.

        • monster55 5 years ago

          The middle few sentences seem to perfectly explain to Kei Igawa situation. The others not so much.

    • sportsfan07 5 years ago

      Look at of the Japanese players that were posted and signed.Matsuzaka: signed 6 years $52M with a $51.1M posting feeIgawa: signed 5 years $20M with a $26M posting feeIchiro: signed 3 years $14M with a $13M posting feeIwamura: signed 3 years $7.7M with a $4.5M posting feeAnd these are just some of the guys as well. Look, all of the posting fee is around what the actual contract that they got is. Iwakuma on the other hand had a posting fee of $19.1M and is seeking a 3 year $36M contract from the A’s. Why would anyone pay a guy who is seen as a 4th-5th starter with a potential to be a 3rd starter for his ceiling what equates to 3 years $55.1M a grand total of about $18.3M per year contract to a 4th or 5th starter? It’s not shattering anyone’s dream it’s not giving into ridiculous demands.

  5. Motor_City_Bombshell 5 years ago

    No harm, no foul right? If anything, they prevent other teams from signing him, and they save a ton of money to allocate in other, more important areas, such as a run producer.

  6. BobbyAyala 5 years ago

    Doesn’t feel to me like the A’s ever bid in good faith. They came over the top of the other teams in contention, their rival M’s and Angel’s, and immediately offered an unrealistically low deal that they never back off of. They simply didn’t want him to go in the division, and teams will continue to do this unless they change the bidding rules.

    • THM07 5 years ago

      If that were the case I am pretty sure they wouldn’t have traded Vin Mazzaro immediately after winning the bid.

  7. Iwakuma and agent wanted 3 yr 36mill + 19 mill posting fee

    basically A’s wouldve been paying 3 yr/55 mill according to those demands’

    ridiculous, no team wouldve paid that much

    A’s have 4 solid mlb starters + ross/mortenensen/cramer/outman for depth
    They could easily sign a budget short term back rotation sp for less too

    • safari_punch 5 years ago

      Why should the posting fee count against Iwakuma? He never forced the A’s to bid on him.

      Screw Beane and the Athletics. They should opt out of MLB and join the Pacifc Coast League.

      • strikethree 5 years ago

        Because that’s the business of baseball.

        Also, why would anyone pay 10-12 mil per season for a 5th starter anyway?

        Frankly, I’m done watching the Kei Igawas of Japan stinking it up in the big leagues. First, prove that you’re good by taking any contract and then you will get paid if you post up results.

      • sportsfan07 5 years ago

        Even if you don’t count the posting fee against him, he wanted $12M per season without the posting fee. You’re talking about giving him more money than Tim Hudson, Jon Garland, Adam Wainwright, Bronson Arroyo, Brett Myers just to name a few guys who have gone through free agency. Also $12M per year is just below guys like Chris Carpenter and Hiroki Kuroda. So why would the A’s spend that kind of money on a guy who is projected to not even come close to those guys when we could spend that money on proven talent. Adding in the posting fee just shows how bad the signing would have been if the A’s met his demands.

    • strikethree 5 years ago

      For reference: Kuroda signed with the Dodgers for 1 year/12 mil. This guy, Iwakuma (who hasn’t thrown a big league pitch), wanted at least 10 mil per season.Did someone tell the guy that the big leagues isn’t as easy as NPB?

      I’m not sure if it’s him or his agent but people are calling his agent insane. (and not in the good way) Iwakuma needs to fire him.

  8. what a fool. this guy’s agent cost him millions. sure, he may get more in his pocket next year IF he has another stong season pitching against Japan’s finest. but what if he doesn’t? what if he gets injured? what if the market for pitchers next year is completely saturated? this idiot passed up 4 mil a year and a chance to pitch in the most pitcher-friendly park in the league because his retard of an agent thought he should get Barry Zito money. even Barry Zito doesn’t deserve that kind of money. i’d be pissed at my agent if I was this guy.

  9. woadude 5 years ago

    WOW the shocker of the season, I cant believe the A’s didnt view this guy in the Zito like contract wise as he did when he looked into a mirror, I am SOOOOOO shocked they couldnt see eye to eye, wowweee what a story this is.

  10. sherrilltradedooverexperience 5 years ago

    the bigger problem for the A’s is that Japanese teams may not accept the A’s bids for posted players in the future even if they post the highest bid. The NPB doesn’t necessarily have to accept the highest bid for a player. They may be unofficially blackballed for some year on NPB players that are posted.

    *removed the word even from between the words “players” and “in”.

  11. Retnan 5 years ago

    Remaining in Japan is the best option only if he’s not good enough for the majors.

  12. AthleticsFan 5 years ago

    Kouzmanoff was tendered a contract just in case Beltre doesn’t sign.

  13. AthleticsFan 5 years ago

    Kouzmanoff was tendered a contract just in case Beltre doesn’t sign.

  14. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    … go away.

  15. monster55 5 years ago

    How many pooholes do you know that are one of the greatest baseball players ever?

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