Seattle Mariners rumors indicate Hisashi Iwakuma is back with the team. These Mariners rumors have Iwakuma signing a new three-year deal after negotiations broke down with the Los Angeles Dodgers. A report from MLB analyst Shannon Dryer states that the team was able to come to terms on a deal that includes two years of vesting options.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Iwakuma failed a physical with the LA Dodgers, causing the team to back out on a deal. That deal had called for the Dodgers to pay Iwakuma $45 million for the next three seasons, giving the team a replacement for Zack Greinke in the starting rotation. Though details are sketchy on why Iwakuma didn’t pass the physical, the front office in Los Angeles was no longer comfortable with the contract.
Newly hired general manager Jerry Dipoto didn’t waste any time putting the Mariners back in play for this signing. Less than 24 hours after the news of the failed physical was made public, it appears that the Mariners have a deal in place with Iwakuma. Now the team has an even stronger looking starting rotation heading into the 2016 MLB season.
There had been numerous Seattle Mariners rumors about acquiring new players through trades or free agency, but the biggest news came when it was revealed Hisashi Iwakuma had decided to sign a big contract with the LA Dodgers. He was getting more money and years from the Dodgers than the front office in Seattle had placed on the table, but that’s how it goes in baseball sometimes. Now it appears that he is content with returning to the only team he has played with in Major League Baseball.
In four seasons with the Seattle Mariners, Hisashi Iwakuma has appeared in 111 games for the team. He has posted a 47-25 record, 3.17 ERA, and 1.082 WHIP over 653 2/3 innings of work. Iwakuma only walked 1.7 batters every nine innings and finished third in the 2013 American League Cy Young vote. When he became a free agent in the MLB offseason, the Mariners extended a qualifying offer that Iwakuma turned down. Now he could slot in as the No. 2 starter in the rotation again.
GM Jerry Dipoto already spoke about the new contract with Hisashi Iwakuma, possibly indicating that this is the final move that the front office will make during the offseason.
“This is a big move for us. We feel like this really puts a finishing touch on what we think has been a very productive off-season.”
There are still going to be more Seattle Mariners rumors about how the starting rotation will shake out for the 2016 MLB season. The team has a number of slots that players will compete for when Spring Training gets started. After Felix Hernandez was at the top of the rotation, the team also acquired Wade Miley from the Boston Red Sox and Nathan Karns from the Tampa Bay Rays. The Mariners also still have Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, Vidal Nuno, and Mike Montgomery on the 40-man roster.
When it comes to starting pitching, the Mariners certainly have a lot more depth than during the 2015 MLB season. That’s not a bad thing, as the team can figure out which five pitchers best fit the roster, and possibly use one or two of them as trade chips during the beginning of the next season. More details about the Hisashi Iwakuma contract will likely come out soon, including how much money the team has spent on retaining him. One of the primary Seattle Mariners rumors that fans will want Jerry Dipoto to address, is what Iwakuma has to do in 2016 for the vesting options to kick in for 2017 and/or 2018.
[Photo by: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images]