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.
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.