The Seattle Mariners announced the signing of a Japanese player, but it wasn't shortstop Munenori Kawasaki, who already said he'd agreed to terms with Seattle - it was right-handed veteran free agent pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, who accepted a one-year, $1.5 million deal.
Iwakuma, 30, has compiled a 107-69 record with a 3.25 earned run average in 226 career games in Japan, winning the MVP award in 2008 when he won 21 games. Last season, battling shoulder issues, he went 6-7 with a 2.42 ERA.
"Iwakuma has been a highly successful pitcher in Japan,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “We look forward to his contributions to the Seattle Mariners, as he will be given the opportunity to be part of our starting rotation.”
Looking for an innings-eater for the middle of the rotation, the Mariners now have in Iwakuma a man who has twice worked 200 or more innings in a 28-start season.
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Meanwhile, infielder Kawasaki has told Japanese reporters he's agreed to a minor league deal with Seattle and will report to spring training next month.