Within 24 hours after the Dodgers decided to reject a deal with Hisashi Iwakuma, based on a failed physical. The Mariners, who claimed that signing Iwakuma was their top priority then acted quick and signed the 34-year old right hander to a one year contact of which the financial terms were not disclosed.
After Iwakuma rejected the $15.8 million qualifying offer, he went to the Dodgers with whom he agreed on a $45 million three year deal.
The Dodgers said that they were willing to review the contract so they still could sign the Japanese starter, but instead he returned to the Mariners, who grabbed the bull by the horns. Iwakuma now will return to the team that initially signed him to a one year, $1.5 million deal in 2012.
Last season Iwakuma posted a 9-5 record and a 3.54 ERA in 20 starts. He missed 10 weeks with a strained lat muscle behind his right shoulder, but returned in early July and went 9-4 with a 3.10 ERA over his final 17 games. He also pitched a no-no vs the Orioles on August 12.
Due to this signing, the Mariners have some rotation depth because they traded for Wade Miley on the day that Iwakuma agreed on the deal with the Dodgers.
In the past four years, Iwakuma has proved to be a solid nr. 2 starter behind King Felix. In four seasons he posted a 47-25 record with a 3.17 ERA in 111 games.
One can only wonder if Jerry Dipoto (the M’s GM) isn’t taking a risk, because Iwakuma didn’t pass a physical with the Dodgers.