Mariners Insider

Mariners sign right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma to two-year a contract extension

Post by Ryan Divish on Nov. 2, 2012 at 8:12 pm with 5 Comments »
November 2, 2012 8:38 pm
AP photo

With the Saturday deadline approaching, the Mariners agreed to a contract extension with right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma. Had the two sides not reached an agreement, Iwakuma would have become a free agent. Iwakuma was extended through the 2014 season and the Mariners have a club option for the 2015 season.

Because  it’s a contract extension and not a new contract Iwakuma will be eligible to play for the Mariners immediately in the 2013 season. Had the two sides not reached an agreement by the Saturday deadline, Iwakuma would have been granted free agency. If the Mariners would have then signed him to a new contract, he would have been ineligible to pitch until mid-May. But all of that was avoided.

“Hisashi did a very nice job for us at the end of last season as a starting pitcher and we are happy that we have come to a mutual agreement. We look forward to his veteran presence and to his contributions for the next few seasons,” said general manager Jack Zduriencik in a press release.

Iwakuma posted a 9-5 record with 2 saves as part-time starter, part-time reliever for the Mariners this past season. In the final months of the season, he was one of the Mariners more consistent starting pitchers, posting an 8-3 record with a 2.19 ERA in his final 12 starts.

“Kuma really helped solidify our rotation in the second half of the season,” said manager Eric Wedge. “He is a competitor on the mound and did a great job for us. He got stronger with each start during the season and gained confidence. I am looking forward to seeing him on the field ready to work when we start spring training in Peoria.”

It took some time for Iwakuma  to adjust to the regimen of pitching at the MLB level, but once he adapted to it, he had success.

Iwakuma, 31, went  8-4 with a 2.65 ERA in 16 starts. His ERA as a starter set a rookie club record, bettering the previous mark of 2.67 by Felix Hernandez in 2005. Amongst AL pitchers with at least 100.0 IP, he ranked 7th with a 3.16 ERA (44 ER, 125.1 IP), and had the 3rd-lowest ERA by an AL starter with a minimum of 15 starts.

With the extension, you have to figure that Iwakuma will be slated as part of the Mariners rotation for next season.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. SandlotSam says:

    Rock solid signing. If the Mariners can kick-start their offense next season I see Iwakuma winning 17-18 games.

  2. Seahawks2620 says:

    Now I say we either sign Carlos villanueva or Edwin Jackson. Beyond that, we work on our offense. My gut says that we should sign a solid offensive free agent, as well as trade for a middle of the order bat. Obviously easier said than done, however of you want to make a deal, it can always be done. I don’t really like the “If the opportunity presents itself” sort of approach to getting a deal done. You have to make things happen. You cant go to the Royals with a piss poor offer and expect to walk away with an Alex Gordon or Billy Butler. We need to be aggressive this off season.

  3. wabubba67 says:

    Any idea what the dollar amount of the contract is?

    On another note, I read that Bob Engle’s retirement is over (shocked, I am) as he signed up with the Dodgers to become their VP of International Scouting. A HUGE loss for this organization.

  4. shawnypickle says:

    The deal was 2 years at $6.5 mil per with an option year at $7 mil and a $1 mil buyout of the option year. Making it 3 years, $21 mil.

    I am not as worried about losing Engle as you are. I think he left our system fairly strong with scouts and I trust the guy who replaced him will do fine. Also, name one significant bat Engle found in his time with Seattle.

    Finally, would rather let another team pay Jackson and spend most of our money on offense. I would, however, like to kick the tires on Scott Baker, late from the Twins. His injury history should suppress his price so that he would sign a team friendly deal to re-establish his value, which is pretty high when healthy. I would even be willing to sign he and Villanueva. Ken Davidoff, from the New York post has Seattle signing Piezynski at 2 years, $15 mil and Adam LaRoche at 3/$33. Yuk.

  5. wabubba67 says:

    Uhh…Felix is pretty good. So was Cabrera and Choo (both traded to the Indians by Bavasi…supposedly Engle threw a tantrum when he heard that Bavasi had traded Cabrera). Lopez and Betancourt would have been OK if either of them had a work ethic.

    Two other scouts under Engle also left. (Grifiol and Guerrero)

    Engle is well-regarded among scouts down here in AZ…they were surprised that he left the Mariners. Many told stories about seeing Engle at low level games in Venezuela when many other high level scouts in his position apparently thought that they were above that. Said one, “There’s a reason he is able to sign the kids that he does. He works harder than anyone else to establish relationships.”

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