The Seattle Mariners announced the re-signing of right-handed starter Hisashi Iwakuma to a one-year deal with vesting options for 2017 and 2018.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, if Iwakuma's two options vest, he can earn nearly $45 million over the three years. His deal includes a full no-trade clause.
Iwakuma was thought to be heading to the Dodgers on a three-year, $45 million deal back at the Winter Meetings, but apparently his deal fell through. One report suggested that this was due to failed medicals.
Regardless, Iwakuma's deal with Los Angeles never finalized. The Mariners swooped back in and got a deal done. Iwakuma's market definitely took a big swing, as he lost two guaranteed contract years if in fact he had a three-year deal with Los Angeles.
Now in order to have guaranteed seasons in 2017 and 2018, Iwakuma must reach certain baselines. If he does, he will end up making around the same amount of money he would have made had he signed with Los Angeles. The only difference, however, is that only the 2016 season is fully guaranteed.
Iwakuma will slide back into his No. 2 role in the Mariners' rotation, behind ace Felix Hernandez. The team has been busy this offseason trying to revamp their roster to make the postseason, adding Wade Miley, Steve Cishek, Joaquin Benoit, Nori Aoki, Adam Lind, Seth Smith, and Loenys Martin in a variety of transactions.
Last season, Iwakuma went 9-5 with a 3.54 ERA in 192 2/3 innings pitched. He posted a 111 to 21 strikeout-to-walk ratio, 3.74 FIP, and 3.27 xFIP. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 1.8 fWAR.
The 34-year-old has spent his entire Major League career with the Mariners. He began pitching in Major League Baseball in 2012, after he was signed out of Japan. Iwakuma, who was named to the AL All-Star team in 2013, has a career 3.17 ERA and 4.34 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 653 2/3 career innings.