Tag:Akinori Iwamura
Posted on: December 14, 2011 11:48 pm
 

Checking in on past products of posting system



By Matt Snyder


With Yu Darvish having been posted and the deadline to submit bids having passed, we now wait in anxious anticipation to see which team wins the honor to negotiate with the 6-foot-5 right-hander. Due to some of the past failures within the system, there seems to be a certain amount of stigma attached to paying so much money just to negotiate with a player. Let's check out the players who signed major-league contracts after going through the posting system and see how they fared.

Before we get to the players, though, let's clarify a few things. First of all, the posting system didn't begin until December of 1998. So Hideo Nomo, for example, was never posted. Also, not every single Japanese import since 1998 went through the system, either. Players who get to free agency in Japan become international free agents -- this is the route Hideki Matsui and Kosuke Fukudome, to name two, have taken. International free agents can sign with whatever MLB team they wish and have no posting fee paid to their former teams. And some players went through the posting system and either ended up signing minor-league contracts or not signing at all.

The following eight players did go through the posting process prior to last season and end up with a major-league contract. Let's look at each, chronologically.

(player, year posted, winning team, posting fee paid -- which does not include player salary)

Ichiro Suzuki, 2000, Mariners, $13.125 million
The 10-time All-Star won the MVP his first season in America. He's led the league in hits seven times and sports a career average of .326. He's become a franchise icon and could be headed to the Hall of Fame despite not playing in America until he was 27. So, yeah, this one worked out just fine.

Kaz Ishii, 2002, Dodgers, $11.26 million
The left-handed pitcher lasted just four seasons, with control being a major problem. Ishii led the majors with 106 walks his rookie year and then offered up 101 and 98, respectively the next two seasons. He ended with a 39-34 record, 4.44 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in his MLB career.

Akinori Otsuka, 2003, Padres, $300,000
This couldn't have turned out much better for the Padres. Not only did Otsuka post a sparkling 1.75 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 87 strikeouts in 77 1/3 innings in 2004, but he was also a valuable member of the 2005 playoff NL West champs. Then, the Padres traded him to the Rangers with Adam Eaton in a move that landed both Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Young (the pitcher). That's a pretty nice return for originally posting less than the current league minimum salary.

Shinji Mori, 2005, Rays, $750,000
The relief pitcher tore the labrum in his throwing shoulder and missed all of the 2006 season. He was then released by the Rays and returned to Japan, having never appeared in a major-league game.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, 2006, Red Sox, $51,111,111.11
Yes, "Dice-K" has been awful for the past three seasons and is now trying to recover from an injury. He might never be a valuable member of a rotation again, but he's still only 31 and did produce for two seasons. He finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting in 2007, also pitching well in winning Game 3 of the World Series (which the Red Sox would sweep). Then in 2008, Dice-K went 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA and finished fourth in AL Cy Young voting. So, yeah, he's been really bad the past three years, but to call him a complete and utter bust would be a stretch. Over the duration of his deal, he's definitely been way overpaid, but was still valuable for two seasons.

Darvish Posting
Akinori Iwamura, 2006, Rays, $4.5 million
He was helpful for two seasons for the Rays, including when he was the starting second baseman on the 2008 American League champions. He hit .281 with a .354 on-base percentage during his Rays' career, but he lost his job in 2009 to Ben Zobrist and then fizzled in 2010 for both the Pirates and A's. Iwamura was released by the A's at the end of the season.

Kei Igawa, 2006, Yankees, $26,000,194
If you want to find a colossal waste of money in the posting system attached to a gigantic bust, this is the guy you're looking for. He's far more a "bust" than Dice-K. In 16 major-league appearances, Igawa went 2-4 with a 6.66 ERA (which just looks eerie, no?) and 1.76 WHIP. And get this, Igawa hadn't pitched in the majors since 2008, yet still made $4 million from the Yankees this past season as he played out the duration of his five-year contract. The left-handed pitcher appeared in four Triple-A games and 16 Double-A games. And the Yankees paid more than $45 million total for him. Wow.

Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2010, Twins, $5.329 million
It was a season to forget for the skinny middle infielder. Nishioka broke his leg during the first series as Nick Swisher took him out on a potential double-play turn. When Nishioka healed up and came back, he was one of the worst offensive players in the majors, hitting .226/.278/.249. He was so bad, in fact, that the Twins went out and signed Jamey Carroll to be the everyday shortstop while Alexi Casilla will play second. So the posting fee and $9.25 million contract (which is a three-year deal) is for a backup that they definitely never want stepping in the box for any important at-bats. That's money not-very-well spent.

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Posted on: November 13, 2010 7:57 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 7:57 pm
 

Iwamura headed back to Japan

Akinori Iwamura
After a shockingly bad fourth season in the U.S., Akinori Iwamura said he wanted to stick around and try to rebound. But it looks like he got a better offer back home.

NPB Tracker reports via Twitter that a story in Sanspo (the link is all squiggly, so I'll take NPBT's word for it) says Iwamura has a basic agreement with Rakuten of the Pacific League. The second baseman started the 2010 season as the highest-paid member of the Pirates, but they sent him to the minors and finally released him in September after he batted .182 in 54 big-league games. The Athletics signed him for the remainder of the season, but released him after he batted .129 in 10 games.

Iwamura was very good in his first three years in Tampa (.281/.354/.393), but just fell off a cliff this season, and nobody seems to have a good reason why. Some of it was luck -- he had a lousy .208 BABIP (batting average on balls in play) -- but that doesn't explain all of it. Hopefully he can find his form again back home.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 13, 2010 6:33 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:56 am
 

R.I.P. Pirates: 18 losing seasons and counting

As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Now: the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Oh, Pirates. So sad. But hey, you've got one of the best ballparks in Major League Baseball, maybe one day you'll have a real major league team.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Where to start?

Well, let's avoid the debacle that was the Akinori Iwamura trade, and go straight to the biggest problem.

The Pirates' starting rotation was Paul Maholm, Zach Duke, Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf and Charlie Morton -- each lost at least 10 games. Now, I know we're smart enough here not to judge a pitcher based solely on his W-L record. But all but Ohlendorf had an ERA+ of 83 or lower. That ain't good.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

James McDonald Several young players showed glimpses of being productive big leaguers in the future. Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata and Neil Walker (pictured, lower right) join Andrew McCutchen as a lineup that can play.

How about the trade of Octavio Dotel and cash to the Dodgers for right-hander James McDonald (pictured, left)? McDonald, 25, started 11 games for the Pirates after the trade and went 4-5 with a 3.52 ERA. McDonald has impressive stuff and is one of the few strikeout pitchers on the roster.

HELP ON THE WAY

Stop me if you've heard this one before, but the Pirates do have some good, young talent. Unfortunately, not much of it is ready for the big leagues.

One of the few that could help soon is Bryan Morris, a 23-year old right-hander who went 6-4 with a 4.25 ERA at Double-A Altoona.

There will certainly be players to watch in the team's minor league system, but it'll be in the lower levels in guys like Jameson Taillon, Stetson Allie and Luis Heredia.

Neil Walker EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

It's the Pirates, the expectations don't change. There are none besides playing 81 home games.

SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

Oh, how about this crazy idea. You know that money you get from other teams in revenue sharing? Why not spend it on players? Radical, right?

Now, who do you sign? Right now you go for bargain innings-eaters. Maybe someone like Kevin Millwood or Brad Penny. They're not great, but they can be had and could stick around a little longer.

It's not like Carl Crawford is going to sign in Pittsburgh, but that's not the type of player the Pirates need to target at this point, instead it's filler until the real talent comes along.

2011 PREDICTION

The Pirates will record their 19th consecutive losing season and finish at the bottom of perhaps the weakest division in baseball once again.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here .

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .



Posted on: September 12, 2010 8:38 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2010 8:43 pm
 

Report: A's to sign Iwamura

To say Akinori Iwamura's season was disappointing would be an understatement. He entered the year as Pittsburgh's highest-paid player, was banished to the minors after putting up a horrendous .182/.292/.267 line in 54 games, and finally was released on Friday.

It appears the Athletics are willing to take him on as a reclamation project, as the San Francisco Chronicle reports that they'll sign him Monday. The A's need another third baseman with Kevin Kouzmanoff sidelined and Jeff Larish, plucked off waivers from the Tigers on August 3, in a .174/.255/.348 death spiral since arriving in Oakland.

Iwamura, 31, was a standout player in Japan and showed in his first three years in Tampa Bay that he can play (.281 average with good defense), but the fact that he's Oakland's best option at this point is not a great sign for the A's.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: June 28, 2010 11:04 pm
 

Pirates lose another second baseman

Bobby Crosby Being the Pirates' second baseman is dangerous business these days.

Bobby Crosby was removed from Monday's game against the Cubs with concussion-like symptoms after colliding with outfielder Lastings Milledge.

On Friday, Neil Walker collided with Ryan Church and suffered a concussion. He has been sent back to Pittsburgh for more tests.

The Pirates released their Opening Day second baseman, Akinori Iwamura, two weeks ago. Andy LaRoche has been transitioning from third to second but is a work in progress. The only player to start at second for the Pirates this season other than Iwamura, Walker and Crosby is Delwyn Young, who has started there three times and is batting .221.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Posted on: June 22, 2010 10:28 pm
 

Pirates stuck with Iwamura

Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Review-Tribune reports via Twitter that the Pirates, who designated second baseman Akinori Iwamura for assignment June 16, have been unable to trade him. Iwamura will report to Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday.

It's no surprise given Iwamura's lack of production (.182 and nine RBI in 54 games) and salary -- he was the Pirates' highest-paid player this season at $4.85 million. The Pirates acquired him from Tampa Bay last winter.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Category: MLB
Posted on: June 16, 2010 4:29 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2010 4:36 pm
 

Pirates DFA Iwamura


While the Pedro Alvarez era begins in Pittsburgh tonight, the Akinori Iwamura era has ended as unceremoniously as the Chris Duffy era did.

Iwamura was designated for assignment, MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch reports via Twitter , to make room for Alvarez.

Iwamura, acquired in a trade with the Rays this offseason, was hitting .182/.292/.267 with two home runs and nine RBI in 54 games. Alvarez will play every day at third base, the Pirates have said, and Andy LaRoche has been working out at second base, where he could take Iwamura's spot.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
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