Mariners Agree To Sign Hisashi Iwakuma

10:57pm: Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times reports (on Twitter) that the incentives kick in at 20 starts, at which point Iwakuma will be paid a $200K bonus. He will make $250K for 22 starts, $300K for 25 starts, and $400K for 30 starts. The innings bonuses kick in at 140 IP, and he can earn another $400K for 200 IP.

Iwakuma spent four days in Seattle back in December according to Baker, during which time he met GM Jack Zduriencik and was shown around town. He didn't speak to Ichiro Suzuki before signing, says Baker (on Twitter).

7:35pm: The Mariners have agreed to sign right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma to a one-year contract worth $1.5MM, reports ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (all Twitter links). The deal includes $3.4MM in incentives based on starts and innings pitched. We heard the two sides were closing in on a deal earlier this week. Iwakuma is a Sosnick-Cobbe client.

The Rakuten Golden Eagles posted the 30-year-old righty a year ago and the A's won the rights to negotiate with him for $19.1MM. However, the sides didn't work out a deal and Iwakuma re-signed with Rakuten. He posted a 2.42 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 119 innings in 2011 and became a true free agent after the season. He figures to join Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, and Michael Pineda in Seattle's rotation with Blake Beavan and Charlie Furbush as candidates for the fifth spot.


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74 Comments on "Mariners Agree To Sign Hisashi Iwakuma"


k0o56
3 years 7 months ago

Great deal for the M’s. No major risk there.

Ichiroll
3 years 7 months ago

Yay! Good signing. Can always turn him into prospects mid-season, if he succeeds.

3 years 7 months ago

This is implausibly fantastic. What an amazing contract, great structure, potentially a massive value and certainly cheaper than I expected!

Karkat
3 years 7 months ago

Everything about this is great for the Mariners, although I want to know what these incentives are that can more than quadruple the value of the contract o.o

John McFadin
3 years 7 months ago

Most likely standard stuff, just with more incentive.  IP incentives, etc.

melonis_rex
3 years 7 months ago

They have to be IP and awards incentives. Nothing else is allowed, IIRC. 

John McFadin
3 years 7 months ago

Double reply fail.

0bsessions
3 years 7 months ago

I liked Furbush a lot better when he was preceded by Fister in the rotation.

CaseyBlakeDeWitt
3 years 7 months ago

You know that was never right? They were traded for each other.

0bsessions
3 years 7 months ago

Stifle it, you.

John McFadin
3 years 7 months ago

Great signing.  Will be interesting to see how he can do.  I figured he would get more than that, for sure.

0bsessions
3 years 7 months ago

Hateyoudisqus.

CAD_Monkey
3 years 7 months ago

1 yr/$1.5m???  What did the A’s offer last year?

CaseyBlakeDeWitt
3 years 7 months ago

He wanted something ridiculous like $16 million a year I think. I guess that didn’t work out so well for him.

green_and_gold
3 years 7 months ago

I think he was offered something like 4.5MM in guaranteed money for three years.  What the hell happened during contract negotiations last year for him to turn down that offer for this???

CaseyBlakeDeWitt
3 years 7 months ago

Maybe he heard bad things about Oakland’s three fans.

4FourAces
3 years 7 months ago

3 years at $3.5 to $3.8 million per year. I wonder how long he waits to fire his agent.

melonis_rex
3 years 7 months ago

He had Don Nomura as an agent when he negotiated with the A’s. He already fired him before this year. 

FamousGrouse
3 years 7 months ago

Iwakuma’s agent wanted basically the same contract that Hiroki Kuroda had (that was what Iwakuma’s agent was using as a model). So they were looking for 4 years/$48 million.
I think the A’s were trying to offer 3 years at $3.5 to $4.5 million per year.

melonis_rex
3 years 7 months ago

Nobody really could tell what Don Nomura (Iwakuma’s agent) wanted– hence all the talk about Barry Zito-esque contracts Nomura floated. And then the Kuroda contract was used as a model. The A’s offer was somewhere in the range you suggested, IIRC. 

3 years 7 months ago

No, he used Barry Zito as a comprable, not Kuroda. He literally wanted $100M+ for him. 

3 years 7 months ago

Damn he must feel like a fool now turing down the A’s contract last year of 4/28 because his agent said he was being under payed.  Where is that M’s fan that said the A’s low balled him last year?  Looks like the M’s didn’t just low balled him but made him grovel and beg for the job.  So now all you M’s fans can zip it when talking a bout low balling someone.

notsureifsrs
3 years 7 months ago

didn’t this guy ask oakland for the barry zito contract last year? i see japan’s scott boras is a bit less successful

MNTwins12
3 years 7 months ago

Iwakuma fired that agent last year…

LA
3 years 7 months ago

Little Risk and high reward! 

王威評
3 years 7 months ago

He simply just didn’t want to play for As. He said in an interview, he picked Ms because it is the closest city to Japan.

1.5M is lower than what he could get in Japan.

jwsox
3 years 7 months ago

I’m assuming ichiro had something to do with it to

王威評
3 years 7 months ago

Ichiro has something to do with Kawasaki.
Kawasaki said he only wants to be on the Ms because of Ichiro.
No matter what the salary is, so Ms signed him a minor league contract. XD~

3 years 7 months ago

Good try.  He fired his agent after it came out that his agent wanted Zito money.  It was a big disgrace for his former club that he asked for that much money.  He said he wanted to play for the A’s and his agent lied to him.  His agent went in the papers saying the a’s only offered a little over 6 million a year and it wasn’t fair.  I bet that amount looks good now.  He never said he didn’t want to play for the A’s. 

王威評
3 years 7 months ago

Of course he would not say “he doesn’t want to play for the As”.
Actually, he took less money again this time because Seattle’s location.

FamousGrouse
3 years 7 months ago

“1.5M is lower than what he could get in Japan.”

Good catch. I checked and he was paid $3.6 million last season in Japan. I’m not sure how much the injury would change his salary.

Tired_OF_FakeRumors
3 years 7 months ago

He should be successful pitching in a pitcher friendly ballpark.

FamousGrouse
3 years 7 months ago

Amazing deal for the M’s.

DieHardMsFan
3 years 7 months ago

Awesome deal. No risk high reward. If he succeeds give him a long term deal maybe something close to what the A’s offered last year. 

cyberboo
3 years 7 months ago

Iwamura signs for 1.5 million to pitch in Seattle.  Texas will probably have to pay 15M per year for Darvish.  The real question is which pitcher has a better season?

grownice
3 years 7 months ago

 Darvish

melonis_rex
3 years 7 months ago

Shoulder injuries are scary stuff and have destroyed lots of MLB careers; far fewer recover from shoulder injuries than from TJS.

 
There’s a reason the M’s got Iwakuma at such a low price after the posting bidding last year was pushing 20MM. You HAVE to think something’s up with that shoulder.

OaklandFan22
3 years 7 months ago

Thank you Mariners!

3 years 7 months ago

You’re welcome?

OaklandFan22
3 years 7 months ago

I didn’t want him on the A’s

95isOver
3 years 7 months ago

Because…

OaklandFan22
3 years 7 months ago

because of his age an we are trying to go young and he has injury history like last year

Eric
3 years 7 months ago

link to baseball-reference.com

Before his shoulder injury in the first part of the 2011 season, where exactly was his injury history? He threw 571.2 innings during the 08-2010 seasons.

sportsfan07
3 years 7 months ago

 I thought he was going to say because he’s money-hungry greedy player who tried to ruin the reputation of the A’s. That would have sounded more reasonable.

Wes Whitenack
3 years 7 months ago

I guess all the A’s fans (Whoever’s left of them) are getting into “trade every one and give up this year.”

OaklandFan22
3 years 7 months ago

ya thats the way we’ve been this whole offseason,

3 years 7 months ago

The Angels getting the best hitter alive and adding a #3 SP who is a #1 on many teams, as well as the Rangers being in a peak era right now will do that to ya.

sportsfan07
3 years 7 months ago

 I doubt he would have signed here anyways. He would have looked like an even bigger idiot for signing with the A’s on a 1 year $2M deal or something like that.

Wes Whitenack
3 years 7 months ago

This is great deal for us. Steadies up the rotation and on such a cheap deal. 

Edgar4evar
3 years 7 months ago

Finally, the M’s actually make an interesting move. Jaso was…kind of interesting. But Iwakuma has a chance to be a big impact guy. I’m hoping he puts up something like 180 innings of 3.7 or less xFIP ball, earns some of those incentives and the M’s sign him to an extension for a few years. The M’s might hope to repeat the 2010 Giants’ model in a year or two with a mediocre offense and amazing run prevention.

王威評
3 years 7 months ago

I am guessing he posts ERA 3.8-4.0 range in Safeco.
Seattle would more than happy to use a pitcher like that for 1.5M.

Eric
3 years 7 months ago

I liked the idea of adding Iwakuma from the start. Given the financial details, I would consider this a big win for the M’s. There has been some concern about his shoulder, but I’ve also read that his injury was towards the beginning of the 2011 season and that he had a strong finish. A 1.5M base salary with 3.4M in total possible incentives for a possible middle of the rotation starter is great! He has a career 2.67ERA in Japan, and threw 201 innings as recently as 2010. I look forward to seeing him in Mariner teal.

dashatt
3 years 7 months ago

Looks like smart move. Have to think signing for such low amount has to be a favor for Ichiro to have couple country men join him on his final year of his contract and possibly career.