MLB sent out a press release this morning announcing that the Oakland A’s won the bidding for Japanese pitcher Hasashi Iwakuma, as I anticipated yesterday.
The A’s now have 30 days to sign Iwakuma to a contract. If they are unable to do so, they keep their posting fee, and Iwakuma returns to Japan next season. But I doubt that will happen. He wants to pitch over here, and the A’s want him, so they will work out a deal. Iwakuma is represented by Don Nomura, who was the agent for Hideo Nomo, among others.
The upshot for the Mariners is that they still need to find another starting pitcher for a rotation that will be anchored by Felix Hernandez and figures to include Doug Fister, Jason Vargas and Michael Pineda. More on that later.