Hisashi Iwakuma to sign with Los Angeles Dodgers


After missing out on re-signing Zack Greinke, the Los Angeles Dodgers have made a move in respects to their rotation by signing former Seattle Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma to a three-year deal, adding to an already solid rotation, even with Greinke’s absence.

Iwakuma has been one of the more consistently solid pitchers in baseball within the past few years. Over four years in the MLB, Iwakuma has posted an outstanding 3.17 ERA with Seattle from 2012-2015, including an outstanding 2013 campaign where he finished 14-6 with a third place finish in American League Cy Young Award voting.

More from Call to the Pen

The addition shows the Dodgers’ quick reaction to not signing Greinke, adding a solid second starter in their rotation behind ace Clayton Kershaw. The righty will be 35 in mid-April, yet with Iwakuma not having any overpowering pitches, his durability will look to remain solid through his age-37 season.

Iwakuma’s 2015 season was shortened by injuries, but was impressive nonetheless. The 34-year old posted a 9-5 record with a 3.54 ERA in 20 games, including a no-hitter on August 12 against the Baltimore Orioles. While Iwakuma has had a consistently lower strikeout rate, his 21 walks in 129.2 innings pitched was good for an outstanding 1.5 BB/9 IP ratio, which would have ranked third in the MLB had he pitched enough innings to qualify.

The right-hander can be a solid addition to a Los Angeles rotation that is already centered around finesse, as Iwakuma’s splitter and slider have proven to be effective during his time in Seattle. With acquisitions made by the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants for Zack Greinke and Jeff Samardzija respectively, the National League West will feature revamped rotations throughout the division, perhaps making the division more competitive than it has been in recent years.

The signing may not be the big market acquisition the Dodgers were initially targeting this offseason, but Iwakuma’s addition gives the Dodgers a reliable middle of the rotation starter that has proven to be a consistent and effective performer in one of baseball’s most offensively dominant divisions.