Dec. 1: FanRag’s Jon Heyman tweets that Iwakuma’s contract comes with a $2.5MM base salary upon making the big league roster as well as a hefty $6MM worth of incentives based on games started. Heyman also notes that Iwakuma’s deal contains a separate incentives package based on potential work out of the bullpen.
Nov. 27: The Mariners announced that they’ve re-signed right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.
Iwakuma, 37 in April, has spent his entire big league career with the Mariners, for whom he debuted back in 2012. Seattle bought out the 2018 club option on his contract after an injury-ruined 2017 season in which a right shoulder injury limited Iwakuma to just 31 innings. However, the veteran told reporters in Japan recently that he was weighing an offer to return to the Mariners. He’ll now head to big league camp with the M’s and try to earn a spot on the roster for what would be his seventh season in the Emerald City.
While the 2017 season wasn’t pretty for Iwakuma, he’s largely been an effective mid-rotation starter in Seattle — and quite a bit more in his best seasons. From 2012-16, Iwakuma turned in 852 2/3 innings of 3.39 ERA ball, averaging 7.4 K/9 against an outstanding 1.8 BB/9 mark while routinely turning in yearly ground-ball rates right around the 50 percent mark. His best campaign by virtually any measure came in 2013, when the then-32-year-old made his lone All-Star team and finished third in American League Cy Young voting on the heels of a 2.66 ERA over the life of 219 2/3 innings.
It’s obviously not reasonable to expect Iwakuma to return to his peak form, but even his 2016 season was a solid effort — one that the Mariners would be happy to see replicated in 2018. That year saw Iwakuma produce 199 innings of 4.12 ERA ball with averages of 6.7 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 against a 40.8 percent ground-ball rate.
Iwakuma won’t be guaranteed a rotation spot, as he has been in previous seasons with the Mariners, but he ought to have a legitimate chance to reclaim his place in manager Scott Servais’ starting five if he’s health come March. At present, the Mariners have James Paxton, Felix Hernandez and Mike Leake locked into rotation spots. Beyond that mix, however, there would appear to be two open spots. Iwakuma will join a race that includes Erasmo Ramirez, Andrew Moore, Marco Gonzales and Andrew Albers. Righties Chase De Jong, Max Povse, Rob Whalen and Seth Frankoff are all currently on the Mariners’ 40-man roster as well.
Solid depth move
Ladies and gentlemen, the first domino!
Doug Fister signed yesterday too.
You said it friend. That Stanton thing really cooled us off, but here we go lads…off to the races.
Good,low risk move.If Iwakuma is still injured/ineffective,then it won’t cost them.If he reverts to his old form,then they’ll get a great deal.
Pretty sure guy gets dumped right after Othani signs with the Yanks … Well played Jerry Dipoto !!
Pretty sure your myopia precludes you from making an intelligent post.
Myopia? My granddaughters name is Myope, Myopia is pretty too. I’m sure Yankster can think for himself though my friend…took me 20 years but my wife lets me do some thinkin now and again. lol
lack of imagination, foresight, or intellectual insight.
Fits Yankster perfectly. Every post of his is filtered through a pinstriped lens.
sorry friend i never heard this word before. you younger generations are much smarter than i ever was. when i was 8 my daddy put a shovel in my hand and said start diggin septic tanks. i only learned how to read when i was 20. you younger guys are so educated. i’m happy for you.
I’m 60. It’s not my problem that you’re ignorant of language. Perhaps if you spent less time making excuses and more time educating yourself.
But hey, now that I know who you are, next time I see your name I’ll “dumb it down” for you.
Chris Sale Amateur Tailor
Or you can just speak English… nobody has ever used the myopia in a conversation
Maybe if folks spent more time reading actual books they’d know what myopia means or may have come across it before. Either way its largely irrelevant. I think a sleeper team will land Othani, honestly don’t see a fit for him with the Yankees. Hopefully Seattle’s track record with Japanese players and culture will have some impact, but I’m not betting on it and I’m not going to care if he signs elsewhere. Getting Kuma back is a win/win for the m’s and hopefully it works out.
Seriously? What is with the attitude? Chrisduncanfan did not knock you, yet he does not know one word and he is an idiot? He was nothing but respectful to you and you were nothing but an ass to him.
How many account names do you have?
Great. Hello Kuma my old friend.
Pretty sure guy gets dumped the minute Othani signs with the Yanks …Well played Jerry Dipoto … well played !
Re word it again
You’re the perfect representation of a Yankees fan. Ignorant and keeps repeating their nonsense over and over again in hopes that someone might eventually give a damn.
Lol yup ^
I’m not a Yankees fan nor am I a Mariners fan but it cracks me up how mad Mariners fans get when people say things that are anti Mariner. Like they’ve won anything in 40 Plus years…they absolutely deserve to be ripped on for the absolutely shoddy way they do things year in and year out. Oh crap, I just stood up for a Yankee fan! Ha
Now wait a minute friend, i know some upstanding yankee fans…good all around christian men that would give you the yankee shirts off their back just to keep you warm. Dont meen to be to hard on ya friend, but i think we should all stay civil and mutually love baseball.
I don’t disagree with any of that, but your excessive use of the word “friend” makes me think “Ron Burgundy”.
When in Rome….
Well my take on his use of the word Friend would lead me to deduce that he’s very civil and has manners and just wants to talk about baseball in friendly terms with his fellow man! I applaud it.
I bet he has a better year than fister and doesn’t take up a roster spot all winter
He didn’t talk to reporters IN Japan. He talked to reporters FROM Japan.
He’s in Seattle. Has been since the season ended.
He’s in Japan right now bud and has been for a bit.
He wasn’t at the time of his comments to Japanese reporters that this writer referenced. My source is the same as his: Greg Johns, the guy they got the story from. I’m interested to know your source.
According to Johns, he’s spending the offseason in Seattle rehabbing from his debridement.
Johns says in current article that he was in Seattle until “spending time in Japan recently.”
Doesn’t change the fact that he was in Seattle talking to Japanese reporters at the time he was reported to be mulling a Seattle offer.
Not that it really matters, but it’s my understanding that he and his family live in Seattle. (Still).
maybe trying to add incentive for ohtani having a countrymen on the roster
If they could bring back Ichiro for a year that would be cool, not sure he’s the best roster fit but he’d be cheap. Seung-hwan Oh too, since they’ve been trading away some bullpen depth.
Solid move!! I do believe they have forgot to list one other starter who should be solid this year: Drew smyly. I believe we should have a solid rotation with some depth if we add shohei ohtani, and wishful thinking darvish.( who happens to be good friends with ohtani) lets pull out all the stops to get this japanese superstar.
Smyly won’t pitch until 2019.
Yeah i looked that up after i posted lol. Its a minimum 12 month recovery which would put him coming off dl in june of 2018 if everything goes smoothly. Then a month or more of rehab.. idk who knows maybe end of season return is possible.
At which time he will be a FA. Lol
There’s a reason why M’s haven’t cut Smyly yet…I see a reconfigure, 3yr deal with the M’s
So what happens to Miranda ? He was good until he got tired after the All-Star break, but is he destined for the bullpen?
The Mariners used something like 17 starting pitchers last year. There’s nothing wrong with having depth.
Yeah, prolly just an oversight. I didn’t like him out of the bullpen. It seems like he, along with Gonzales and that Andrew kid whose name I’ve forgotten, could be part of the M’s SP solution moving forward.
Wish you the best Iwakuma! I’m sure you’ll do great this coming year and make the roster friend.
Certainly not a bad move, depending on the guarantee if he is added to the major league roster. Hopefully it’s for the major league minimum and a heavily incentive-laden deal based on innings pitched. He’s definitely a known commodity for the M’s, and if he’s healthy, he’s certainly capable of eating innings and is better than most of the “depth” options we currently have. The key words in that sentence are “if he’s healthy.” Given his recent injury history, I hope Mr. Dipoto isn’t fully depending on him being in the rotation for the whole season, and is making plans to sign a legitimate starter for the rotation. Ohtani would be ideal, but the competition for his services (and the Mariners’ recent inability to get to the playoffs) may have him looking elsewhere.
What happened to Ariel Miranda, as his name is not even mentioned.
Busy accepting his HR/9 award? I’ve wondered if he might end up traded. Could make sense for San Diego.
Ha! Gotta like the profile name! Sid Bream. I’ll never forget that slide at home against the Braves to knock them out of the post-season.
I think they’re gonna work Miranda out of the bullpen? Or he’s gonna be involved in a trade
This is a sweet pickup for the Ms. Even if he flops, they lose nothing.