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Mariners sign Hisashi Iwakuma to one-year, $1.5M contract

Jan 5, 2012, 9:01 PM EDT

hisashi iwakuma getty japan Getty Images

From ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick comes word that the Mariners have signed Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma to a one-year, $1.5 million major league contract. The agreement also carries another $3.4 million in performance-based incentives.

Iwakuma, 30, registered a superb 2.42 ERA and 90/19 K/BB ratio in 119 innings last season for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball. He posted a 2.82 ERA and 153/36 K/BB ratio across 201 innings in 2010.

The A’s tried to sign Iwakuma last offseason, offering up a $19 million posting fee for exclusive negotiating rights, but the two sides ultimately failed to work out a major league contract. If everything goes well in spring training with the Mariners, the 6-foot-3 native of Tokyo should grab a spot at the back end of the Seattle starting rotation.

  1. natsattack - Jan 5, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Dude should have taken the A’s cash.

    • JBerardi - Jan 5, 2012 at 11:34 PM

      You realize the $19m wasn’t for him, right?

    • jwbiii - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:47 AM

      The A’s were offering 3/$15M. Iwakuma was for looking much, much more. He went back to Japan and made $3.6M. Dude should have taken the A’s cash.

  2. shawnuel - Jan 5, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    If he gets back to 88-92 MPH on his fastball velocity and retains his audacious control, this could turn out to be a very astute pick-up.

  3. crisisjunky - Jan 5, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    “considering where I’m needed and an environment my family can live in..”
    pretty much says it all about how he feels about the difference in quality of the life and the baseball organizations in Seattle and Oakland (or wheretofore). There is the City, but who wants to deal with the Bay Bridge if you don’t have to, for some fun and culture.
    Iwakuma showed patience and forward thinking to wait.

    Seriously, the A’s couldn’t have offered him much, Billy having emptied his Levi’s down to the lint
    to scrape up the 19mm posting fee.

    This is a feather for Jack Z, A.L. Westers should start glomming on to all the Arms they can.

  4. dirtyharry1971 - Jan 5, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    one word, BUST!

    • JBerardi - Jan 5, 2012 at 11:36 PM

      Please. My grandmother could put up a sub-5 ERA in safco. And he’s been dead for two decades.

  5. crisisjunky - Jan 6, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    was (S)He a 2way player?

    • txnative61 - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:51 AM

      Yeah, can she hit?? The Mariners need bats more than arms.

  6. henryd3rd - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Does this this trumps the Angels’ signing of Albert

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