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Hisashi Iwakuma will head back to Japan to play baseball

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37-year-old pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma will head back to Japan to continue his baseball career, MLB.com’s Greg Johns reports. Iwakuma, who missed the 2018 season with a shoulder injury, says he’ll be ready by spring training.

Iwakuma signed a minor league deal with the Mariners last November after undergoing an arthroscopic debridement on his right shoulder last September. He appeared in two minor league rehab games on August 26 and 31, pitching three innings in total.

Iwakuma pitched in Japan from 2001-11 before going overseas to play Major League Baseball. Across parts of six seasons with the Mariners, he won 63 games with a 3.42 ERA and a 714/185 K/BB ratio across 883 2/3 innings. Iwakuma earned approximately $48 million during his time in the U.S. Not bad.

Report: Rays sign Brandon Lowe to six-year, $24 million contract extension

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Rays and infielder Brandon Lowe have agreed on a six-year, $24 million contract extension. Lowe has just 58 days of service time, so this will cover his three years of pre-arbitration as well as three arbitration years.

Lowe, 24, earned a promotion to the majors in early August last year, playing mostly at second base but also logging time in both outfield corners. Through the end of the season, he hit .233/.324/.450 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 148 plate appearances. Lowe also performed well this spring, batting .359/.405/.692 with a pair of homers and 14 RBI in 39 at-bats.

MLB Pipeline rates lowe as the No. 10 prospect in the Rays’ system. He is in line to see regular starts at second base, but the Rays will certainly be keen to utilize his versatility throughout the year.