Mariners and Hisashi Iwakuma agree to contract extension

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UPDATE: Jon Heyman of reports that Iwakuma will get $14 million guaranteed. He’ll make $6.5 million in each of the next two seasons while there’s a $1 million buyout on a $7 million option for 2015.

11:29 PM: Hisashi Iwakuma was hours away from reaching free agency, but the Mariners swooped in at the last minute tonight and signed him to a two-year extension with a club option for 2015. Terms haven’t been disclosed.

As Larry Stone of the Seattle Times points out, there was a sense of urgency to get a deal done today. Per a stipulation in the one-year contract Iwakuma signed last offseason, if he re-signed with the Mariners after Saturday’s deadline, he would be ineligible to play for the club until May 15 of next year.

Iwakuma thrived after getting a chance in the Mariners’ rotation this July, going 9-4 with a 2.65 ERA and a 78/28 K/BB ratio over 95 innings. The 31-year-old right-hander will return to a rotation which is set to include Felix Hernandez and Jason Vargas. Erasmo Ramirez and Blake Beavan are the likely frontrunners for the other two spots.

Report: Yankees, Red Sox near agreement to play two-game series in London in 2019

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Janet Paskin and Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg are reporting that the Yankees and Red Sox are near an agreement to play a two-game series in London in 2019. The games would be played at London Stadium, which hosted the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Major League Baseball has had games played internationally in Japan, Australia, and Mexico. It has yet to do so in Europe. The NFL will have three games played in London this year, with the Seahawks and Raiders matching up at Tottenham Stadium on October 14, the Eagles and Jaguars playing at Wembley Stadium on October 21 or 28, and the Titans and Chargers doing battle at Wembley Stadium on October 21 or 28. Those dates will likely be determined next month.