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 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.