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UPDATE: A’s deal for Hisashi Iwakuma is dead

Dec 6, 2010, 10:38 PM EDT

Hisashi Iwakuma

UPDATE: It’s over. Mychael Urban of CSN Bay Area and Jane Lee of MLB.com are reporting that the A’s have failed to reach an agreement with Hisashi Iwakuma. The club’s $19.1 million posting fee will be returned.

8:02 PM: The Athletics have until midnight ET to come to an agreement with Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma, but things don’t look good.

Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that the two sides have yet to talk today, while Athletics general manager Billy Beane said he would “it would be a surprise” if a deal was reached.

The A’s won the exclusive rights to negotiate with Iwakuma last month by submitting a $19.1 million posting fee. Some have suggested that the A’s may have made the bid in order to block the Mariners and/or Rangers, but their subsequent trade of Vin Mazzaro to the Royals is an indication that their interest was genuine. The more likely scenario is that Beane balked at Iwakuma’s asking price of $11-12 million per season. Hard to argue with that one.

While that’s tough news to take for A’s fans, the club is exploring a multi-year contract extension with Trevor Cahill, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com. Cahill, who turns 23 in March, went 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA this past season. The young right-hander will not even be arbitration-eligible until next offseason, so the team will likely attempt to buy out his arbitration years and perhaps his first year of free agency. The team signed Brett Anderson to a similar deal in April.

  1. Old Gator - Dec 7, 2010 at 12:29 AM

    The beloved A’s aren’t impressing too many folks this offseason. Beltre? Meh. Iwakuma? No, thanks. I wonder if it would help their cause any if Bud Light would get his act together (probably even less likely than that Ozzie Guillen would rattle off an entire paragraph’s worth of coherent English syntax) and work out a deal to move them to the promised land south of the salt pens. The illusion of stability might work wonders. It can’t be doing any good for the Oakland ego that the Pirates and Gnats are signing their marks in the meantime.

  2. apbaguy - Dec 7, 2010 at 12:45 AM

    Billy is actually attending the Winter Meetings this year, so that “proves” the A’s are serious this time. But yeah, any news about the SJ situation would be welcome-and long overdue.

    As for Iwakuma, he must have mistaken the A’s for the Yankees, asking for $ 12M per year on top of the $ 19M posting.

    The A’s are sitting on a bunch of cash this winter, cash nobody seems to want. Yet the blueprint is just across the Bay: several cast-offs with some potential left for $3-5M each. Get lucky with two of them and have the pitching maintain and you’ve got a challenger for the division.

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