Mariners Re-Sign Hisashi Iwakuma To One-Year Deal With Vesting Options

Though Iwakuma’s new deal keeps him under contract for 2016, vesting options for 2017 and 2018 have been included.

Iwakuma, 34, debuted with the Mariners in 2012 after a long career pitching in Japan. Over four years with the Mariners, the right-hander is 47-25 with a 3.17 ERA (117 OPS+). He has racked up 551 strikeouts while issuing 127 walks in 653 2/3 career innings.

The career highlight for Iwakuma came on Aug. 12 during this past season when he recorded his first career no-hitter against the Orioles. However, he made just 20 starts while missing a chunk of the season due to a strained lat muscle.

Last week, CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman reported that the Dodgers had signed Iwakuma to a three-year deal for $45 million, pending a physical. While in many cases the physical is merely routine before a deal is finalized and announced by the team, the Dodgers uncovered something in Iwakuma’s physical that caused them to red-flag the agreed-upon deal. While the opportunity was there for Iwakuma to work out the terms of a new contract with the Dodgers, he instead returns to Seattle to play for the only major-league team he has ever known.

As for the Dodgers, they’ve now come up short on every free-agent target this offseason while watching the rival Diamondbacks and Giants get much stronger in the rotation. They have engaged the Rays in trade talks involving pitcher Jake Odorizzi, as Heyman reported earlier Thursday, and they’ll presumably explore most if not all of the best remaining free-agent starters to try and find a fit.

Iwakuma returns to a group of starting pitchers in Seattle that has gotten stronger since he became a free agent, with Wade Miley and Nathan Karns joining Felix Hernandez, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton as potential members of the Opening Day rotation.

Story provided by Eye On Baseball Staff

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