The Oakland A’s made the highest bid in the MLB bidding to obtain negotiating rights with Hisashi Iwakuma. They have apparently cleared a second hurdle, as the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League have reported to MLB offices that they have accepted the high bid. This allows the A’s 30 days to negotiate a contract with Iwakuma.
Ken Rosenthal reported during the day Saturday that the Rangers could possibly have the high bid, but soon thereafter began reporting rumors that Oakland seemed to be in good position to win negotiating rights. The Seattle Mariners were initially thought to have the inside track, but were also topped by their division rivals.
ESPN.com’s Keith Law ranked Iwakuma as the 16th best free agent this winter, calling him a “mid- to back-of-the-rotation guy.” Oakland now has a surplus of starting pitching and could look to move one of their young starters, such as Trevor Cahill, for positional help.