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.