So apparently there has been some rumors popping up about Hisashi Iwakuma and the Mariners. The problem is that the sources are unreliable and the total amount of rumors that have crept into the blogosphere this off-season is starting to add up to a really intollerable amount. So much so that I’m starting to just shrug all the stuff off until a notable source speaks on the situation.
By notable I don’t mean Jon Heyman, who has become one of the worst sources for baseball rumors in all of baseball. I’m not trying to specifical take a cheap shot at the guy, in a lot of ways he reminds me of Sansa Stark. She means well in everything she does you wonder if she actually thinks about things prior to doing them. There is also the situation of how badly she is used and abused by the Lena Headley and that little punk Joeffery. This is how I think of the Boras – Heyman relationship, where Heyman just leaks sources that really seems more like bargining leverage, it’s really one sided but Heyman doesn’t realize that and sadly is involved in dependent relationship.
I’m not done with my game of thrones compairsons more to follow. But back to Iwakuma and the Mariners. The pairing is a solid match for both Iwakuma and the organization. Iwakuma doesn’t throw especially hard, but he’s got some above average secondary offerings and while Safeco Field helps left handed pitchers out, in general it’s a pitchers park and that’s nothing but a good thing for Iwakuma. He profiles to be a little better than the back-of-the-rotation pitcher so he’d fit especially nice behind Vargas and in front of someone like Blake Beavan or even Erasmo Ramirez should they give him the #5 spot out of spring training.
My one concern is how much they end up spending on Iwakuma. Of course he’s a bit better than a typical #4 or #5 so you could expect that it’s going to take a bit of money to sign him and obviously more than say Jeff Francis or a Kevin Millwood. Looking at last year during his negotiations it’s believed that he turned down an offer of approximately $3-5m annually and was seeking upwards of $12 million a year. While, I don’t expect him to get that much, I would be surprised if he got a contract near the range of $7-9m. That would be just a notch lower than what Edwin Jackson is seeking ($60m / 5yrs.)
Again, I’m really not putting much weight into this. The rumor itself really not surprising in any way. We already know that Jack Zduriencik has seen seeking an experienced pitcher and one that is reliable. Iwakuma is that and not only that but possibly a bit more. I expect there to be more rumors connecting the Mariners with experience pitchers until Jack Zduriencik fills the role and even after that we all are aware that he never stops searching to upgrade his roster.