Pitching, Salaries

Is Iwakuma Iwa-crazy?

About two weeks ago, the Oakland Athletics won negotiating rights (through a $19 million bid) with Hisashi Iwakuma, who has played in the Japan Pacific League his entire career. Afterwards, GM Billy Beane made a couple of moves to suggest the A’s were at least 75% sure they would sign Iwakuma. Unfortunately, talks have stalled between the two sides. There are numerous reports suggesting Iwakuma wants Barry Zito (and we all know how well that went for the Giants) money or that the A’s are unwilling to negotiate beyond a $3-4 million average salary base. Either way, one of the sides has been castrated by the media as the demon.

But who’s right here? Is there enough past history of Japanese pitchers coming to the American market to justify a $15+ million average salary? Or can the A’s justify giving Iwakuma the same salary he received in Japan because of the high cost of the negotiating bid? I’ve listed some recent Japanese pitchers who made the move to the big leagues, and some meaningful figures.

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OffSeason

My New Year’s Resolution

So I feel bad for digressing from this blog…if you’ve been checking in from time to time, waiting for that one day to come for me to post…I’m sorry to you…you unkown reader, if there are any of you out there.

So a New Year’s Resolution (b/c everyone does it…) of mine: blog blog blog.

I thought it’d be fun to act like some of the other 30 GM’s of the major leagues.

New York Mets

Omar Minaya has been trying to fix his team so the 2010 version looks like absolute nothing like the 2009 version that collapsed on all sides of the field, and by the end of the season even a die hard Met fan couldn’t name half of the roster that came to be. Something the Mets have been known for is giving huge contracts to players over their prime and aging fast. So, for you Minaya, “I vow to not give out so much money to these aging ballplayers..*COUGH* except Jason Bay [5 year, $80 million]…” …Whoops, right?

Cincinnati Reds

This doesn’t have much to do with the Red’s GM, except that he recently signed 22 year old pitcher Aroldis Chapman [a phenom Cuban who signed for $30 million]. By doing this, he’s putting this fine prospect into the hands/care of Dusty Baker in a couple years when he’s up with the big club. Dusty Baker, you ask? He’s kinda been at the helm of top pitching prospects who have suffered numerous injuries in their careers [think Mark Prior, Kerry Wood]. Not saying it’s his fault, but he has been known to overwork these pitchers. So, Mr. Baker, your resolution entails to play it safe with Mr. Chap, as well as the rest of your pitching crew, especially Edinson Volquez who’s coming off season ending surgery.

New York Yankees

Brian Cashman: I will continue to flex my yankee blue power [AKA $$$] and keep the core players in tact for several years, so that by 2020, 8 more rings will be won. YANKEE POWER!

Oakland Athletics

Billy Beane: Yeah..I’ll keep ahead of most GM’s by going against the curve. Remember back when I liked fat catchers like Jeremy Brown eight years ago? While you guys are doing that now, you’ll be eaitng my left coast dust while I pick up suave-looking guys for my team. Hang-ten.

I tried to be funny at the end. Can’t you picture Billy Beane all relaxed and embracing his native San Diego vibe? [On the contrary, I’ve heard he yells a lot when he’s mad…and throws things..]

PS – It’s IceBat’s first New Years! He says hello to all you “loyal” readers.

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