Hisashi Iwakuma was not his usual reliable self at the start of the 2015 season, and after three outings, the Mariners placed him on the disabled list with a lat strain. In his first start back, Iwakuma coughed four homers to the Tigers, but after that, something clicked. Iwakuma posted a 2.82 ERA over his final 16 starts, allowing just nine home runs over 108 1/3 innings. It appeared that Iwakuma cashed in on his comeback with an agreement on a three-year deal with the Dodgers, but the team backed out after the hurler failed his physical. Iwakuma re-upped with the Mariners, and despite potential health concerns, enters this season as a top 40 Fantasy starter.
Iwakuma agreed to a one-year contract with the Mariners on Thursday. The deal includes options for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Iwakuma was set to join the Dodgers before failing his physical, but the Mariners were apparently comfortable with his medical history, and he is now back with the only MLB team he has played for. The failed physical raises a red flag on Iwakuma's health, but as long as he is not dealing with something serious, he will likely slot back into the No. 2 starter role behind Felix Hernandez.
The Dodgers are reportedly backing out on their contract agreement with Iwakuma following a failed physical, the Jiji Press reports. While this is surprising on the surface, it is also no surprising given the pitcher in question, as Iwakuma has had trouble staying healthy dating back to when he first considered coming over from Japan in 2010. Shoulder issues have often plagued the 34-year-old righty, and while he could still be signed by another club, it will surely be for less money and less years. Depending on where he lands, he would still be worth a flier in deeper leagues, but the risk is through the roof.
Iwakuma has reached an agreement to sign a three-year contract with the Dodgers, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports. With Zack Greinke heading off to a division rival, the Dodgers unsurprisingly acted quickly to secure a new No. 2 starter. Despite struggling early in the season while bothered by some nagging injuries, Iwakuma finished 2015 with a 3.54 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 111:21 K:BB ratio over 129.2 innings. He'll move from one pitcher's park to another, and he should enjoy pitching in the National League.
Iwakuma turned down his qualifying offer from the Mariners on Friday and will remain a free agent, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports. The move doesn't come as much of a surprise after another solid campaign from Iwakuma, in which he posted a 3.54 ERA and an impressive 111:21 K:BB ratio. He'll be 34 years old by the time the 2016 rolls around, but he should still be able to land a multi-year deal on the open market after turning down the $15.8 million qualifying offer.
Iwakuma was extended a qualifying offer by the Mariners on Friday. Iwakuma's season was slowed down a bit by injuries, but he still posted another strong campaign, as he tossed his first career no-hitter and worked to a 3.54 ERA with 111 strikeouts in 129.2 innings. He'll be 34 years old by the start of the 2016 season, which could scare off some teams, but he'll likely turn down the qualifying offer and command more in free agency.