clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Cubs And Hisashi Iwakuma, Free Agent

New, 57 comments

Here's another possible Cubs pitching acquisition.

David Banks/Getty Images

The Cubs didn't have much luck with Tsuyoshi Wada, their first starting pitcher from Nippon Pro Baseball (Kyuji Fujikawa was the Cubs' first foray into NPB; the reliever didn't work out either).

Other teams have had success bringing pitchers over from Japan. One of those pitchers is Hisashi Iwakuma, who has had four good years with the Seattle Mariners. One of the best things about Iwakuma is his WHIP -- career 1.082. The only active pitcher who has as many or more career innings than Iwakuma (653⅓) and a lower WHIP is Clayton Kershaw.

So there's that. On the other hand, he turns 35 just after Opening Day and missed time in both 2014 and 2015 with injuries. The finger injury in 2014 didn't prevent him from having a pretty good year once he did pitch, and after he returned from a lat injury in July 2015 he posted a 3.10 ERA and 1.015 WHIP in 17 starts, a bit better than his career averages.

Iwakuma made $7 million in 2015. At 35, he might not be worth more than a two-year deal (maybe with a team option for a third), and he might not be that expensive.

Worth a flyer? Let us know in the comments.