November 24, 2010

MLB/ Posting system snafu embroils Iwakuma: Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma of the Rakuten Golden Eagles, not yet eligible for free agency under Japanese Professional Baseball (JPB) rules, is seeking this year to move to the Major Leagues through the posting system. Oakland has won the exclusive rights to negotiate with Iwakuma, having tendered a $19 million bid. However, negotiations have broken down, with Iwakuma's agent, Don Nomura, opening the negotiations with a demand of $12 million per annum for a multi-year deal (for a pitcher who has never thrown a pitch in the major leagues), claiming that it is comparable to what the Dodgers are paying Hiroki Kuroda. Oakland, in turn, has countered with a $15.25 million four-year offer (approx. $3.8 million per year), which is about what he is currently making with Rakuten.

posted by billinnagoya to baseball at 07:35 AM - 1 comment

As a longtime resident of Japan and follower of JPB, I am one of the first to agree that there are quite a few potential major-leaguers playing for the Japanese clubs, with Ichiro Suzuki being but the premier example. I am also in agreement with the posting system, as imperfect as it may be, because it keeps the JPB leagues from being decimated of their talent by the deeper pockets of the Major League teams, which would only send them the way of the Negro Leagues in the post-Jackie Robinson era.

But I really do wonder where Nomura gets the hutzpah to demand $12 million per annum for what amounts to a pig in a poke; that is, someone who has never thrown a single pitch at the major league level. I mean, for every Ichiro who was outstanding in the Japanese leagues, there are the Iguchis and Irabus (and I was sooooooo thrilled to see the Yankees get burned with both of those contracts), the Matsuzakas, Kawakamis, and Fukudomes (and these last two were stars with my beloved Dragons!!) who have failed to live up to their hype once they made the move.

posted by billinnagoya at 08:18 AM on November 24, 2010

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