According to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker, bidding has closed on Japanese RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, and a Japanese sports site is reporting that the Mariners are the favorites to land him, apparently bidding $13MM for his posting fee. The aforementioned Patrick Newman has a write up on Iwakuma here, and Dave from USSM summarized today.
In case you’re too lazy to click the links, Iwakuma is basically an extreme ground ball pitcher who excels at limiting the long ball. He sports 5 pitches, including his go-to pitch, the forkball, and for what he brings to the table, a $13MM posting fee is an extremely reasonable price. From what I can gather, Hiroki Kuroda appears to be a fairly realistic comparison for Iwakuma, and he’s been an excellent addition for the Dodgers since his arrival in 2008.
The offseason is upon us, and this team has a lot of work to do before the roster is ready for 2011. They can’t afford to waste any time, and it doesn’t appear that they’re going to. We’ll have to wait and see if these reports are indeed accurate, but they may have already shaken up the 2011 starting rotation.