The A’s won exclusive negotiating rights for Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma earlier this winter, but they were unwilling to meet his lofty contract demands and the 29-year-old has now re-signed with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball. This according to Jason Coskrey of The Japan Times.
Iwakuma turned in a quality 2.81 ERA over 201 innings in 2010 for the Golden Eagles, equally strong numbers in 2009, and he had a career year in 2008 when he posted a 21-4 record and 1.87 ERA to win the Pacific League MVP.
He should draw a ton of interest next offseason if he again tries to test the MLB free agent waters and he may find a club that is more willing to pay him big money.
Iwakuma was asking for a salary of $11-$12 million per season in his negotiations with the A’s. Because of the pricey $19.1 million posting fee, Billy Beane and Co. were only willing to offer a four-year deal worth a total of $15.25 million. That fee has since been returned.