Akinori Iwamura unclaimed on waivers, optioned to Triple-A

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After designating Akinori Iwamura for assignment last week Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said “a small number of teams have expressed mild interest” in trading for him, but Iwamura and the $2.9 million remaining on his contract passed through waivers unclaimed yesterday.
Various reports suggest that the Pirates were willing to eat the rest of Iwamura’s contract, but ultimately couldn’t find a team interested in giving up anything for him. Apparently the “mild interest” was very mild.
Iwamura is now off the 40-man roster, but accepted an assignment to Triple-A because not doing so would have meant forfeiting the rest of his guaranteed salary. While in Indianapolis the 31-year-old infielder will try to recoup some of the value lost by hitting .182 and looking slow defensively, but he’s probably facing an uphill climb to make it back to the majors.

Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this summer

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.

Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.

He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale with retired numbers.

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”