Baseball / MLB

Hisashi Iwakuma says Mariners have offered him new deal

Kyodo

Free agent pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma said Monday he has received an offer to rejoin the Seattle Mariners.

The Mariners earlier this month declined the 2018 club option on the veteran right-hander, who has been sidelined with shoulder issues since May.

Speaking to reporters in Tokyo for the first time since becoming a free agent, Iwakuma said, “It is not a done deal but I have received an offer.”

“Hopefully I will be able to make a positive announcement soon,” said the 36-year-old.

This past season, Iwakuma went 0-2 with a 4.35 ERA in six starts and finished without a win for the first time in his major-league career.

He underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery at the end of September and is targeting a return to the mound at the start of next season.

“I don’t know when I’ll be back but my hope is that it will be in time for the start of the new season,” he said.

Iwakuma has spent all six years of his MLB career with the Mariners, posting a 63-39 record and a 3.42 ERA in 150 games.

Meanwhile, Iwakuma also said he was excited at the prospect of watching the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters’ two-way star Shohei Otani in the major leagues, should he make the move to North America via the posting system.

“He has outstanding talent so I’d like to see him do well on the major league stage,” said Iwakuma.