Susan Slusser is reporting that the Oakland Athletics talks with Japanese ace Hisashi Iwakuma have broken off. Slusser tweeted that Major League Baseball sources were indicating to her that Iwakuma wanted a deal in the neighborhood of Barry Zito’s contract with the San Francisco Giants. Considering Zito received a deal of 7 years worth $126 million, it’s safe to say that won’t be happening anytime soon. I hope Iwakuma hasn’t bought a plane ticket to SFO or OAK yet.
The Oakland A’s won the posting fee on Iwakuma with a reported post of $17 million, according to SI’s Jon Heyman. However, if the Athletics cannot come to terms on a contract with Iwakuma in the thirty day window (around December 8), they will not have to pay the posting fee. I’m guessing Iwakuma would be available again for posting and this process might start all over again.
The A’s traded away previous fifth starter Vin Mazzaro to the Kansas City Royals in a deal for outfielder David DeJesus. Iwakuma would have slotted quite nicely into the rotation and moved Dallas Braden down to the fifth spot. If Iwakuma ends up elsewhere, the team will let various in-house candidates and maybe a cheap free agent or two battle for that spot in the rotation. Bobby Cramer got some time in the rotation and the team will be getting Josh Outman back in time for spring training. I’d suspect those will be two of the top candidates this spring.