Mariners Very Close To Deal With Hisashi Iwakuma

WEDNESDAY, 9:49am: The Mariners are very close to a deal with Iwakuma, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

TUESDAY, 5:06pm: The Mariners are the leading suitor for Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma, according to a Sponichi report passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. Iwakuma has drawn interest from a number of teams, but seems to be favoring Seattle.

"We've received terms from a number of clubs, but considering where I'm needed and an environment my family can live in, at present we're closest to a contract with the Mariners," Iwakuma said.

MLBTR's Tim Dierkes reported yesterday that the Orioles are in on Iwakuma. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported that another American League team was pursuing the Sosnick/Cobbe client.

The Rakuten Golden Eagles posted Iwakuma 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. The 30-year-old posted a 2.42 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 119 innings in 2011.


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55 Comments on "Mariners Very Close To Deal With Hisashi Iwakuma"


joeybw
3 years 7 months ago

I just hope he signs this year. Last year, he got a lot of media attention only not to sign.

3 years 7 months ago

Yes, because his delusional agent wanted 7/125M for him.

Hopefully he’s found an agent more in touch with reality.

AKA_brotherfox
3 years 7 months ago

He didn’t sign because the A’s never intended to sign him.  They won the bid, knowing they’d get a full refund of the fee when they lowballed him and he refused to sign with them.  Beane torpedoed the guy’s chances of coming to pitch in America so he could keep him away from the competition without incurring any cost to Oakland’s cheapskate owners, Fisher and Wolff.

Casor_Greener
3 years 7 months ago

Exactly.  The A’s were going to spend $20M just to negotiate last year, but now can’t afford to keep anybody but CoCo Crisp.

3 years 7 months ago

Wrong!  The A’s offered him a 4 year 28 million deal but his agent wanted a 6 year 70 million deal.  I bet he will not even come close to the A’s original deal of 7 million a year.  His agent was fired after reports of the 12 million a year he wanted.  His quote was that his agent wanted a Zito like contract.  I bet the M’s will be the low ball club not even coming close to the A’s offer of 4/28.

AKA_brotherfox
3 years 7 months ago

No, you’re wrong.  The A’s offered him 4 years at a measly $15.5M and, according to Nomura, expressed it as a “take it or leave it” offer instead of the first bid in a negotiating process.  That was an insulting offer to a pitcher who was ranked the second-best starter in the Japanese league at the time, and they knew he’d reject it.  In Nomura’s own words: 

“After our first proposal, we were thinking we had a compromise through negotiation, but the Athletics seemed to think ‘if you can’t take this price, you don’t have to come here’. That wasn’t a condition we could accept.”

BTW, Nomura is co-agent with Arn Tellem for Yu Darvish.

ARod's Ring
3 years 7 months ago

 “an environment my family can live in” Just a question. Do they bring the entire family as well? or is the process that much faster when you’re a millionaire? 

Jon Melton
3 years 7 months ago

Yeah the posting fee for wife and kids barely 5 mill not bad

95isOver
3 years 7 months ago

MARINERS!

Eric
3 years 7 months ago

Iwakuma will be a good addition to a rotation that already consists of Felix, Pineda, Vargas, and probably Beavan. It’s nice to see the M’s finally getting active!

gsquare
3 years 7 months ago

furbush will end up in tacoma and vargas would probably get dealt for a bat.

jamison_m
3 years 7 months ago

I hope you’re right about Furbush….

The only reason I don’t agree about Vargas is because trading him leaves us with a rotation full of right-handers, and I don’t see that happening. Even if Hultzen makes the team this season he’ll be back-of-the-rotation. My guess:

Felix
Vargas (for the change of pace)
Pineda
Iwakuma
Beavan

I’m afraid if we trade Vargas then Furbush is going to take his spot in the rotation (not in the second spot, of course), at least for now.

Now, if you’re talking about mid-season or next off-season then I’ll agree with you on Vargas. He’ll probably hit the trading block with lefties Hultzen and Paxton making their way to the big league club.

Go M’s!

Patrick the Pragmatist
3 years 7 months ago

A good pick-up for the M’s.  Rotation depth is an issue.  It got a little shaky last year after Fister and Bedard were dealt. 

This should give them a solid five provided Beavan performs well, with one ace on top and maybe two if Pineda performs.

Now if they get break outs from position players they might move into .500 range again.

3 years 7 months ago

Yes!! I saw Iwakuma in the World Classic and he´s really good, love this for the M´s.

Midseason  rotation: King Felix, Pineda, Iwakuma, Paxton, Hultzen… Filthy!

m4r1n3r
3 years 7 months ago

Deal isn’t done yet. It will be nice if the money is right but we should really be spending money on offense right now.

sonofsnake
3 years 7 months ago

The Mariners should be spending money on making their team better.  Iwakuma makes the team better.

m4r1n3r
3 years 7 months ago

I’d prefer an MLB proven bat over a pitcher from another Leauge that has recently had shoulder issues.

sonofsnake
3 years 7 months ago

Give it some time.  It’s only January.

eYeDEF
3 years 7 months ago

Why are you talking like it’s an either/or proposition when it clearly is not? Both Iwakuma and Fielder are being simultaneously and aggressively pursued.

3 years 7 months ago

Felix, Pineda, Hultzen, Iwakuma, Paxton, Walker, Campos! We have the best pitching depth in the majors, much more cheap than the Phillies…

John McFadin
3 years 7 months ago

While good, it’s not exactly the best in the majors.

3 years 7 months ago

I don´t know, but Felix , Pineda , Hultzen and Walker are #1 , aces for any team, Paxton is a solid #2, and Iwakuma a great #3…

$3513744
3 years 7 months ago

Lets not get ahead of ourselves. Felix is the only one in that bunch that has done anything.  Pineda still needs to do it on a consistent basis and show that he can finish the season strong.  The others haven’t even faced major league pitching.  Those are solid options, but they’re far from being the best rotation in the league let alone the majors.

Joshua Thompson
3 years 7 months ago

Shouldn’t we wait to actually see Hultzen, Walker, and Paxton actually perform at the major league level before declaring them Aces or top of the rotation guys?

harmony55
3 years 7 months ago

This Mariner fan agrees with you … but we remain optimistic about all three prospects.

John McFadin
3 years 7 months ago

As the others have said, it ridiculous you are already considering them to be aces.  Hultzen=Halladay, Walker=Lee?

3 years 7 months ago

Hultzen will be like Lee, Walker will be like Verlander, Felix is better than Halladay, Paxton would be Hamels,  Phillies don´t have an Iwakuma type…

Tony Matias
3 years 7 months ago

Doesn’t mean squat if the M’s can’t score runs..

$3513744
3 years 7 months ago

Clement should also be tearing the cover off the ball as the starting catcher, Adam Jones should be our starting CF, Smoak should be the next Texeira, Mark Prior should be in the prime of his HOF career, Jason Heyward should be killing baseballs in Atlanta, etc…the list can go on for ages.  The point is that it’s exciting what their potential may be, but none of these guys have seen the light of day in the majors yet.  It’s a far jump and a very unfair one, to start comparing them to the likes of Lee, Halladay, Hamels, or Verlander.  They still have a long ways to go and anything can happen.

sonofsnake
3 years 7 months ago

Calm down wet blanket.  Everyone understands the inherent volatility of baseball prospects.  It doesn’t change the fact that having great prospects is a good thing. 

$3513744
3 years 7 months ago

Ummm…actually not.  In an ideal world we’d all understand the same but that’s just not the case.  Plenty of people overvalue prospects and plenty undervalue them.  Regardless of what you think, no one’s a sure thing.  I never said anything was wrong with having great prospects, but that doesn’t make them automatic aces.  

grownice
3 years 7 months ago

Better than Halladay lol

eYeDEF
3 years 7 months ago

FYI, during the run up to the June draft Hultzen had NEVER been projected as a top of rotation #1 and has done nothing since last June to make anyone think otherwise. JackZ admitted he was drafted because of his closeness to being big league ready and his leftiness as they had a dearth of quality upcoming lefties. He doesn’t have the high heat to be a #1, with a top heater that maxes out at 93 his ceiling would be a #2 finesse lefty.

I’d be more apt to think Paxton has the potential to be a future #1 given his blazing high heat. He’s also a lefty. 

Casor_Greener
3 years 7 months ago

You sound like an A’s fan last year. We’ll see how it pans out for you

jamison_m
3 years 7 months ago

I love the enthusiasm lol… I’m going to assume you’re being facetious given only one of these guys is an established ace.

Shikikazu
3 years 7 months ago

Now if only we can get something for Vargas, hes about to get somewhat expensive for what he produces. Wish we traded Vargas for lesser prospects last year rather than trading Fister.

eYeDEF
3 years 7 months ago

If they traded Vargas last year instead of Fister they would likely not be pursuing Iwakuma right now and instead be after a lefty veteran starter as their starter stable would be monolithically right handed.

2480
3 years 7 months ago

Nice to see us as a suitor for somebody not to mention a leading suitor………..it’s been pretty quiet………..but can he hit?

Tony Matias
3 years 7 months ago

Uhhhh… he’s a pitcher.

Bob9988
3 years 7 months ago

This report has been floating around Japan for almost a week now.  Surprised it took this long for MLBTR to pick it up.

Patrick the Pragmatist
3 years 7 months ago

For the M’s to reach .500 level in 2012 they need the youth to step up even they did add a “Bat” or even two of them.  Even if they add a Fielder he still only gets one turn every time through the line-up.

If they did reach .500 or even slightly below with some surges from young players it is entirely different ballgame than 2009 or even 2007.

In those years it was only really Felix who was a solid piece of the future to build on.

2009 and 2007 had players who were not even back the following year like Beltre, Branyan and Jose Guillen.  Veterans who were well positioned to fall off suddenly.
Too many holes to fill to be able maintain consistent contention.
Both years were followed by 101 loss seasons because of the lack of depth and the failure of veteran players to perform as they had before.

A .500 season based on youth with pitching rotation depth is a team that can with the right additions be a contender.

It may never be pretty.  It might always be like the 2010 Padres if they contend in 2012 and like 2010 Giants if they are to go all the way sometime later.  But it can be done.  The M’s can do something the Giants can’t do.
They can use a subpar defender at DH.  The Giants and Padres have had to compromise defense for more offense in ways the M’s don’t have too.
And yes,  it is about time the M’s have a DH that hits better than most NL teams pitchers and pinch hitters perform.  A real MLB regular in the spot.

3 years 7 months ago

I disagree. To be a .500 team they need the Vets to step up. The youth just need to keep doing what they’re doing.

eYeDEF
3 years 7 months ago

Expecting the vets on the downside of their career to step up and have career years is unrealistic.

Whereas youth are expected to improve their games as they’re supposed to be on the developmental upswings of their nascent careers.

CutTheString
3 years 7 months ago

I support the M’s any time they position themselves to add legitimate talent to the roster. It does not happen nearly enough.

2480
3 years 7 months ago

Uhhhh… he’s a pitcher.
Shonymat, I knew that but we’ve been focusing on a bat for the past couple seasons. I was really hoping to get one. Your right though, you can never have too much pitching………….

bavasisabum
3 years 7 months ago

Sounds good to me this team needs to add talent no matter the position as long as the price is right. Adds more depth to trade from plus its not like this is a great rotation as it stands even though it could be in a year or 2. Theres not a group of pitching prospects in the game I would rather have.

omavricko
3 years 7 months ago

Trade some our young pitching and go after David Wright. Jack has a Big trade already under his belt that included the mets so let’s see him do it again

harmony55
3 years 7 months ago

Lefthander James Paxton may be ready before Danny Hultzen is … and 19-year-old Taijuan Walker may be the best of the bunch, although the righthander is at least a year or two away.

Casor_Greener
3 years 7 months ago

When is Seattle going to realize they need more than pitching to win some games.

3 years 7 months ago

Hultzen is closer than you think then. If Iwakuma does not sign with Seattle, I think Hultzen makes the rotation out of spring training.

harmony55
3 years 7 months ago

It’s hard to attract free agent hitters to Safeco Field, so the Mariners stockpile pitchers to be in a position to trade some for hitters.

jamison_m
3 years 7 months ago

Haha they know they need offense… they are trying for Prince Fielder and I’ve heard rumors they put in trade offers for Yonder Alonso and Carlos Quentin (no idea if those are credible rumors and we’ll probably never know). But, just because they need offense doesn’t mean they won’t pursue pitching improvements, too. I’m hoping the contract isn’t too large though. For the right price, Iwakuma is a very, very solid pickup – I guess you could say that about anyone (save for Chone Figgins) but you catch my drift…

Go M’s!

omavricko
3 years 7 months ago

Your Wright. We’d be better off with Figgins…..

AKA_brotherfox
3 years 7 months ago

Haven’t heard anything about the M’s being interested in Quentin (and can’t see why the Padres would want to trade him already).  Where’d you hear that?

eYeDEF
3 years 7 months ago

True. Because Figgins is a sunk cost that they’re on the hook for 18 million regardless if they trade for Wright.

But trading paxton for wright means trading away a promising starter and rare lefty with high heat and #1 potential to be saddled with a contract 3 times that of Figgins for a guy getting past his prime coming off a Figgy like year.

No thanks, I’d rather they just have one albatross instead of two.