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FREE AGENT PITCHER HISASHI IWAKUMA JOINS SEATTLE MARINERS
Mon, 09 Jan 2012 05:06 PM EST

The Seattle Mariners have agreed with free agent pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma to a one-year deal. Football scores

Iwakuma’s agent, Paul Cobbe related the offer is worth $1.5 million guaranteed, but the entire price could increase to $4.9 million if Iwakuma reaches chosen award bonuses and incentives based totally on starts and innings pitched. Baseball scores

Hisashi wakuma, a 30-year-old right-hander, was a long-time star for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan. He slots into a Seattle rotation that’s controlled by former Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez and also may include Michael Pineda and Jason Vargas.

Iwakuma attracted interest from seven or eight other major league groups and received proposals from 5 of them — with Oakland, Baltimore and Minnesota among his most active suitors. Cobbe declared the pitcher received more than one multiyear proposal and might have earned more cash with other teams, but selected Seattle after building a comfort level with the franchise and the city during a visit in last December.

The player’ agent expounded Seattle managing director Jack Zduriencik and the crew “rolled out the red carpet” for Iwakuma and showed him “a lot of respect” over his visit.

“This was Iwakuma’s fist time in the U.S, and he found the town of Seattle and the people there were a really powerful fit for him and his relatives,” Cobbe said.

Iwakuma joins 10-time All-Star and former American League MVP Ichiro Suzuki to give Seattle an extra Japanese existence.

Japanese infielder Munenori Kawasaki also announces he’s been invited to spring coaching by the Mariners.

Iwakuma, who played in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens and the 2009 World Baseball Classic, went 21-4 with a 1.87 Era in 2008 and won the Eiji Sawamura Award, the Japanese equivalent of the Cy Young. But Iwakuma missed time with a shoulder injury this season and was 6-7 with a 2.42 Era in 17 starts. After entering the free-agent market, Iwakuma decided to sign a 1 year agreement to re-establish his value in anticipation of 2013.

The Oakland Athletics settled a reported $19.1 million for the inalienable right to negotiate with Iwakuma last winter. But speaks between the A’s and Iwakuma’s previous agent, Don Nomura, broke down with no answering, and the pitcher returned to Japan after the thirty day negotiating window expired.

Since Iwakuma had reached ten years of service time this winter, he was not subject to a posting charge like Nippon Ham Fighters pitcher Yu Darvish. The Texas Rangers latterly bid more than $50 million for the negotiating rights to Darvish, and are working to hint him by Jan. 18. If the deadline passes with no arrangement, the Rangers will get a repayment and Darvish will go back to Japan to pitch in 2012.


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