UPDATE: It’s over. Mychael Urban of CSN Bay Area and Jane Lee of MLB.com are reporting that the A’s have failed to reach an agreement with Hisashi Iwakuma. The club’s $19.1 million posting fee will be returned.
8:02 PM: The Athletics have until midnight ET to come to an agreement with Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma, but things don’t look good.
Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that the two sides have yet to talk today, while Athletics general manager Billy Beane said he would “it would be a surprise” if a deal was reached.
The A’s won the exclusive rights to negotiate with Iwakuma last month by submitting a $19.1 million posting fee. Some have suggested that the A’s may have made the bid in order to block the Mariners and/or Rangers, but their subsequent trade of Vin Mazzaro to the Royals is an indication that their interest was genuine. The more likely scenario is that Beane balked at Iwakuma’s asking price of $11-12 million per season. Hard to argue with that one.
While that’s tough news to take for A’s fans, the club is exploring a multi-year contract extension with Trevor Cahill, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com. Cahill, who turns 23 in March, went 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA this past season. The young right-hander will not even be arbitration-eligible until next offseason, so the team will likely attempt to buy out his arbitration years and perhaps his first year of free agency. The team signed Brett Anderson to a similar deal in April.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.