The Dodgers and Hisashi Iwakuma came to an agreement on a three-year deal but the pact was never finalized. After the Dodgers didn’t like what they saw with his physical, they backed away and now Iwakuma is back where he started: with the Seattle Mariners.
The Mariners re-signed Iwakuma to a one-year deal with vesting options for 2017 and 2018. Financial terms were not announced. But the announcement itself was pretty spiffy: Jerry Dipoto told everyone about it at the club’s holiday party:
The hokey-pokey Iwakuma played with the Dodgers obviously ended up working as a tremendous benefit to the Mariners. For one thing they went out and got Wade Miley from the Red Sox as, more or less, the Iwakuma replacement. Now they get Iwakuma himself back, on a deal that is way less — or at least way shorter and way lighter on guaranteed money — than they would’ve had to pay had they bid head-to-head with Los Angeles.
As for the Dodgers: if Iwakuma does break down or declines, their hesitence to finalize the deal with Iwakuma will prove to have been wise. If, however, he proves to be healthy and effective, a lot of people are going to question their approach with him. And, regardless of what happens with Iwakuma, a lot of people, right now, have to wonder who in the heck they can truly count on to be healthy, durable and effective in their rotation after Clayton Kershaw and, at best, 180 innings or so from Brett Anderson.