Japan report has Dodgers’ agreement with Hisashi Iwakuma collapsing

Hisashi Iwakuma

Seattle pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma sits in the dugout during a game against Texas on Aug. 18.

(LM Otero / Associated Press)

The Dodgers’ first attempt at filling one of two holes in their rotation by adding right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma is in very real jeopardy.

According to Japan’s Jiji Press, the Dodgers are backing out of their three-year, $45-million offer to Iwakuma after he failed his physical.

A person familiar with the Dodgers’ negotiations said they are not out on Iwakuma, but have been haggling with his representatives. It was leaked almost two weeks ago that the Dodgers had reached an agreement with the veteran, yet there had never been an official announcement.

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Iwakuma has a history of health issues – including his right elbow and shoulder -- and will turn 35 in April. Signing Iwakuma (47-25, 3.17 ERA in four seasons with the Mariners) would also cost the Dodgers a first-round draft pick.

The Dodgers could be looking for some contract protection in their agreement with Iwakuma that the veteran is unwilling to provide. Last year when Cuban prospect Hector Olivera’s elbow issue became a concern, a clause was added to the six-year, $62.5-million that gave them an additional year at $1 million should he require elbow surgery.

If the Dodgers fail to sign Iwakuma, they could refocus their attention on free-agent pitchers Mike Leake, Scott Kazmir and Yovani Gallardo.



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