Hisashi Iwakuma Gets $15.8 Million Qualifying Offer From Seattle Mariners For 2016

Hisashi Iwakuma, a Japanese right-hander, has been extended a qualifying offer for one-year, $15.8 million from the Seattle Mariners, the team reported. 

The 34-year-old signed as a free agent out of Japan in 2012 and entered the league immediately at the age of 31. 

In Japan, he totaled a 107-69 record with a 3.25 ERA over 11 seasons and 226 games pitched, just one of them out of the bullpen. Iwakuma played for the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes (2000-2004) and the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (2005-2011). 

Iwakuma was a three-time Nippon Professional Baseball All-Star (2003, 2004, 2008), two-time Best Nine Award winner (2004, 2008), 2008 NPB Pacific League MVP, 2008 Eiji Sawamura Award winner and the 2008 NPB Pacific League ERA leader. 

Over his four-year Major League career, Iwakuma has gone 47-25 with a 3.17 ERA over 111 games pitched and 97 starts. 

For all levels of play, Iwakuma has accumulated a 155-94 record with a 3.22 ERA over 15 season. During those 15 seasons, the Japanese pitcher tossed 2,212.0 innings over 226 games. 

Back to the qualifying offer, Iwakuma will probably decline and make his mark on free agency. The starter is looking for a multi-year deal. While he is noted as a mid-level pitcher, Iwakuma has a major upside of quickly become an ace due to his experience. The 34-year-old tossed a no-hitter in 2015, but has flirted with multiple no-no's over his career. 

If he accepts the qualifying offer, he will be under contract for $15.8 million next season. If he declines and signs somewhere else, the Mariners will receive a compensation draft pick for the loss of their superstar pitcher. 

Iwakuma is coming off a injury shortened season, which he only started 20 games. Over those games, he went 9-5 with a 3.54 ERA. Look for him to bounce back with a projected 13-6 record with a 3.25 ERA next season. 

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