Jon Heyman of SI.com is reporting that the Oakland A’s have won the rights to bid exclusively on Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma.
Of course Oakland must now try to work out an actual contract with Iwakuma, as their winning bid only gives them the right to negotiate with him. If the two sides can agree to a contract within the next 30 days, the bid amount will go to his old team in Japan and Iwakuma will receive whatever deal he works out with the A’s.
Iwakuma is highly regarded and the 29 year old and had a 2.81 ERA in 201 innings this season.
In 2008, Iwakuma went 21-4 with a 1.87 ERA to win the Pacific League MVP.
According to Aaron Gleeman, he’s considered by many to be the the second best pitcher in Japan behind phenom Yu Darvish.
When pitching in the World Baseball Classic last year one AL scout told Baseball America that he “would step into any rotation in the majors right now” and “might be the No. 1 starter for half the teams in the majors.”
Reportedly, the Mets did not make any bids for Iwakuma during the posting process.
While digging for this story, I came across this interesting post by Halo’s Heaven a popular Angels blog. They were not too happy with how this played out on Twitter and writes,
Get ready for an onslaught of bad reporting brought to you breathlessly through Twitter as we head into the Free Agent market.
Here is a case in point: Everyone’s favorite Tweeting Munchkin, Ken Rosenthal, told the world yesterday that the Rangers had the highest posting bid for the services of Hisashi Iwakuma.
Then about an hour later, he was reporting that Oakland had the highest bid and that the Rangers’ bid was too low.
That is quite a turnaround in approximately 60 minutes. What we get is rumor at the speed of light, but nobody is bothering to fact-check or provide context to the information.
I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot of that going forward, so strap yourselves in.