Notebook: Hisashi Iwakuma says Mariners have offered him a contract
A couple of big deadlines coming up Monday, but first a news item of interest from Japan. And no, this one isn’t about Shohei Ohtani, but rather Hisashi Iwakuma, who spoke to reporters for the first time since returning to Japan.
Kuma, who has spent the majority of his most recent offseasons in the US, told reporters that the Mariners have made an offer for him to return in 2018. It is not clear if this is major or a minor league deal, but Kuma said that he hoped to “make a positive announcement soon” about the matter.
Iwakuma made just six starts in 2017, with the last coming against the Angels on May 3 in Seattle. His attempts to return came to an end when he underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery in late September. He told reporters in Japan that he hoped to be ready for the start of the 2018 season.
The Japan Times post, which includes a comment from Iwakuma on Shohei Ohtani, can be found here.
• The deadline for teams to set their 40-man rosters ahead of the Rule 5 Draft is Monday at 5 p.m. The Mariners have four spots open on their 40-man, with five top 30 prospects – outfielders Luis Liberato, Anthony Jimenez, Greifer Andrade, Ian Miller and Chuck Taylor – that need to be on the roster to avoid exposure to the Rule 5 Draft.
• Another deadline we will be keeping an eye on is the one set by the Players Association for resolution of the international transfer rule. The news was not good this morning.
Shohei Ohtani’s move to @MLB in 2018 is not certain to happen. Source says there was no progress last night (Eastern time) in posting system negotiations, regarding MLBPA’s concerns. It’s now after midnight in Tokyo, less than 10 hours to deadline. @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 20, 2017