Two Teams Have “Viable” Interest In Iwakuma

MONDAY: Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics are "lukewarm" on Iwakuma, but there are two teams with "viable" interest in the right-hander. Oakland is not one of them, however.

SUNDAY: There are four teams talking to free agent Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma, according to Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter). The Athletics, who won the bidding on Iwakuma last winter but couldn't work out a contract, are one of the four, says Stiglich.

The Rakuten Golden Eagles posted Iwakuma a year ago, but ultimately re-signed him after the righty was unable to agree to a deal with the A's. Oakland bid about $19.1MM for the right to exclusively negotiate with Iwakuma, but were reluctant to commit the type of salary the pitcher was seeking on top of the posting fee.

Iwakuma has now reached free agency, so the Sosnick-Cobbe client can sign a contract with any MLB club. Besides the A's, the Twins may be one of the four clubs involved. They placed second in the Iwakuma bidding last year, and were said to have him on their radar last month. Perhaps the Orioles are in as well — Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun wrote this week that Dan Duquette is "exceptionally well-versed in international players," and the O's have targeted arms such as Tsuyoshi Wada and Wei-Yin Chin since the new GM's arrival.

39 Responses to Two Teams Have “Viable” Interest In Iwakuma Leave a Reply

  1. Brooks Miller 4 years ago

    Merry Christmas to everyone.

    DD is going to make a strong push for him to come to baltimore. he is big on international players and this guy seems to be able to help out our pitching staff. would be another good sign if the orioles can land him but we will see. we need as many pitching options as possible.

  2. BirdmanRob 4 years ago

    All-Japanese Orioles team in 2013

    • they’ve already replaced the hot dogs with chow mein at camden yards.

      • not_brooks 4 years ago

        Because they’ve signed one Japanese player…

        Merry Christmas!

      • Toufu Vang 4 years ago

        chow mein’s chinese….

        • Ferrariman 4 years ago

          close enough

          • Bluejaysnation 4 years ago

            WoW!! I guess American is pretty much the same as Mexican!!

          • redsx968 4 years ago

            I know this was said somewhat in jest, but as an American who has spent a lot of time living overseas, the ignorance of some Americans is embarrassing and ridiculous

    • Rabbitov 4 years ago

      The Orioles would be stupid not to roll the dice on Iwamura and Chen.  If they get both, they will have filled 3 rotation positions for potentially less than 1/2 of the overblown starting pitching contracts given out to USA pitchers.  

      Is it a risk? Of course, but by signing three players you abate that risk ratably. 

  3. Fred_G_Sanford 4 years ago

    now THIS is the reason for the season!  praise jesus tavarez.

  4. snowmen10 4 years ago

    I think Iwakuma will have a better success than a lot of Japanese pitchers probably including Darvish for the first couple years. Unlike Darvish and Dice-K, Iwakuma is totally not afraid of letting his 2 seamer (shuuto) got hit by the hitter and work out as a ground ball. He also challenge batter with his breaking ball to go into the strike zone, which is where catcher wants. His command is a lot accurate compare with Darvish and Dice-K, and his splitter is very very good as well. 

    • John McFadin 4 years ago

      Iwakuma’s and Darvish’s command is almost identical.  Plus, any major league team will easily take a pitcher who misses bats as opposed to a pitcher who pitches to contact.  Why else do you think Darvish is the one that got the mammoth posting fee and contract?

      • snowmen10 4 years ago

        If you watch NPB for a couple seasons not just clips from youtube, you’ll know that Darvish doesn’t pitch to where catcher wants in many occasions, but Iwakuma will. Darvish doesn’t pitch his breaking ball into strikezone except for fastball and slider. Dice-K has similar attribute, that’s the reason worrying me about how Darvish will perform in the big league. Of course Iwakuma is not accurate as someone like Uehara, but he is for sure has way better accuracy than Darvish. Plus the way Iwakuma work out in the big innings is smarter than how Darvish approaches it.

        Yes, MLB teal will easily take a pitcher who misses bats as opposed to a pitcher who pitches to contact. That’s the reason Yankee used to against Wang in negotiation in 2006. However, for Iwakuma, he still can strike-out a lot of hitters in Japan. He’s not just solely a contact pitcher.

        • John McFadin 4 years ago

          I have had the joys of watching NPB the last two years and the reason Darvish has a hard time with the offspeed is because of the movement of his pitches.  It starts in the zone and moves out quickly.

      • 0vercast 4 years ago

        Darvish has not signed a contract yet, and he’s 6 years younger than Iwakuma with a much higher upside.

  5. Leonard Washington 4 years ago

    Hope the Sox are in on him if Kuroda is leaning towards signing with anyone else.

    • Rangersfan32 4 years ago

      A Kuroda, Chen, Wada, Iwakuma rotation would be interesting to watch haha

  6. Carter2Taylor2Cardenas2Weeks 4 years ago

    Why would my A’s have any interest in signing him? We already pissed him and his agent Don Nomura off last year by winning the posting and offering a contract that they called “laughable”. The A’s are also going for the 1st pick in the draft/ 100+ losses..seems like signing Iwakuma would add some unnecessary wins even if they flip him for prospects mid-season…the A’s open in Tokyo so maybe it is a media ploy, but I refuse to believe that teams sign a guy for 2 games. Merry Xmas everyone

    • OaklandFan22 4 years ago

      merry christmas and i hope we dont sign this guy we already got tons of young pitching that i think we should have in our roation like malone, parker, and  peacock plus we have mccarthy moscoso already

    • Have you seen what the A’s team salary is going to look like? They have to spend on someone, might as well be a Japanese pitcher.

      Oh, and his agent wanted 7/125 for him, the A’s offered 3/12. His agent screwed him trying to get too much money. Now he’s a FA and I believe he has fired him, he’s a better shot at signing. 

    • Luke Adams 4 years ago

      I agree that given Oakland’s rebuild, it doesn’t seem like a great fit, but it’s worth noting that Nomura isn’t representing him anymore, so last year’s negotiations may not be a huge factor.

    • Snoochies8 4 years ago

      He fired his agent soon after that whole contract fiasco, now he’s with sosnick-cobbe

  7. OaklandFan22 4 years ago

    No A’s please do not sign him he’s 30 and we already have tons of pitching 

    • No, the A’s dont have tons of pitching. They just traded the front end of the rotation and probably will trade more. All the good pitching the A’s now have are either injury-plagued (Anderson, McCarthy, Outman, Ross) or could all feasibly be in the minors next year (everyone gotten for TC & Gio).

      • OaklandFan22 4 years ago

        he’s 30 and had shoulder issues last year, we already have malone, peacock, parker, moscoso, and mccarthy.

        • Snoochies8 4 years ago

          malone and moscoso are the only ones that aren’t injury risks and can slide into the rotation straight from spring training, peacock may need a little while in AAA to refine his change up.



          • The A’s have literally no payroll anymore, who’s the highest paid player? Suzuki at $4M? They are going to get in trouble with the league for not using the revenue sharing if they don’t spend, and then they are going to just turn it around and say “well youve taken 4 years to figure out our stadium, this is all we can do to get you to give us a resolution”, which makes perfect sense given the new information yesterday about the announcement in Feb. 

            Expect Beane to sign a ton of guys to appease the revenue sharing laws after its official. Iwakuma makes a lot of sense as Oakland will have no one to pay, and only risky FA pitchers want to pitch there. Might as well tie up the money they HAVE to spend on someone like him.

  8. RepOak 4 years ago

    It doesn’t make sense for Oakland to have interest in him, although he will eat up a lot of much needed innings especially after losing Gio and Cahill. It still won’t make sense if the a’s are in “rebuilding” mode

  9. Madman2TX 4 years ago

    Oakland has a lot of nerve going for him when they were just bidding on him before to keep him away from other teams and never seriously wanted to sign him.

    • Snoochies8 4 years ago

      they were very serious about bidding for him, his agent just wanted a zito-like contract and yeah, there wasn’t a chance he was getting that from anyone, especially the a’s

      • MNTwins12 4 years ago

        How can you be so sure? A team is refunded the bid if a contract isn’t reached, ensuring no other team can negotiate with the player until he reaches free agency, where no bid is needed. I don’t think the A’s really had any intention of signing Iwakuma last offseason unless the price tag was a steal. Iwakuma’s agent reported the A’s management ad being disrespectful and rude. That being said, I hope the Twins sign him.

        • Snoochies8 4 years ago

          because the a’s were going for the west title, and iwakuma was viewed as an upgrade to the rotation, and it was just his agent that said the a’s were disrespectful. This was the agent that demanded iwakuma get a zito-like contract and the a’s weren’t willing to go more than 4 years at around $15 million per year. that caused the agent (since fired by iwakuma) to go to twitter ranting and complaining about the a’s offer

        • Iwakuma fired his agent for 1: being arrogant and 2: wanting 7/125 for him. Even he knows he’s not worth that after never pitching 1 inning in the bigs. His agent was the one who was being disrespectful, the A’s truly wanted him, but only wanted to pay for $4 or $5M a year, which is about how much he’s worth. 

          Every single team in MLB would have laughed at Nomura’s asking for 7/125 for Iwakuma, Twins, Red Sox, Yanks, anyone. This wasn’t some shady move by the A’s. 

  10. MNTwins12 4 years ago

    Please Terry Ryan, take the risk and sign Iwakuma, but only if the price is somewhat right. Go Twins!

  11. CaseyBlakeDeWitt 4 years ago

    Have there been any updates on the negotiations between Darvish and the Rangers? I feel like that’s been dead quiet since we found out the Rangers won the bid.

  12. Kyle_W 4 years ago

    Iwakuma is light years better than Wada. Lived in Sendai for two years, watched him all the time. 

  13. Count down to Morosi claiming Jays are in on Iwakuma in 3…2…1…

  14. Rashomon 4 years ago

    Where would he slot in that rotation? I would guess Blackburn goes to the pen. 

  15. MNTwins12 4 years ago

    Hopefully; I’d really like to see Blackburn moved to the bullpen and see how he does.

    Scott Baker
    Carl Pavano
    Francisco Liriano
    Hisashi Iwakuma
    Jason Marquis

    That is actually a descent rotation in my opinion. 

Leave a Reply