A’s and Hisashi Iwakuma unlikely to work out a deal

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The A’s won the rights to bid exclusively on Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma earlier this winter, but they balked at his initial asking price: a three-year deal worth about $12 million annually.  And while negotiations have continued, it seems unlikely that an agreement will be reached by tonight’s midnight deadline.

According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the A’s would need to schedule a physical sometime today in order to finalize an agreement by this evening.  No physical has yet been scheduled.

Iwakuma will head back to Japan for another year and attempt to pad his stats for another run at MLB free agency next winter.  He posted a 2.81 ERA in 201 innings this year for the Rakuten Golden Eagles and experienced a career year in 2008 when he turned in a 21-4 record and 1.87 ERA to win the Pacific League MVP.

He’s only 29 and will draw heavy interest again next offseason if he makes himself available.

Brewers place Eric Thames on disabled list with torn UCL in left thumb

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On Wednesday, the Brewers placed first baseman Eric Thames on the 10-day disabled list with a torn UCL in his left thumb. In a corresponding roster move, the Brewers recalled pitcher Brandon Woodruff from Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Thames, 31, exited Tuesday’s game against the Royals before the bottom of the ninth inning. After the game, manager Craig Counsell expressed concern about his thumb. As MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports, Brewers GM David Stearns says that surgery is likely but not definite, but that he expects Thames to be back for a “significant” portion of the 2018 season.

Thames was hitting quite well for the Brewers, owning a .250/.351/.625 triple-slash line along with seven home runs and 13 RBI in 74 plate appearances. Jesus Aguilar should handle first base while Thames is out. Ryan Braun could also see some action at first base.