By Matt Snyder
The Mariners are very close to signing Japanese right-handed pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman has learned.
Iwakuma, 30, was 6-7 with a 2.42 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 90 strikeouts in 119 innings last season for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. In the past five years, he's 55-31 with a 2.67 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. He has twice thrown over 200 innings in a season while racking up 16 complete games in the past four years.
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The Mariners obviously have the top two of their rotation firmly set, with Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda. Jason Vargas and Charlie Furbush are there, too, so Iwakuma would likely be the fifth starter.
Of note here: The Mariners open the season in Japan. And we already know about Ichiro's popularity in Seattle.
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Mariners close to signing Iwakuma
Posted on: January 4, 2012 11:11 am