The Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t take long to begin the process of moving forward after losing Zack Greinke to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
A mere two days later, the Dodgers and Hisashi Iwakum reportedly agreed to a three-year, $45 million contract.
The 34-year-old right-hander spent the past four seasons in Seattle after spending 11 seasons in the Japan Pacific League.
Iwakuma was 9-5 with a 3.54 ERA, 3.74 FIP and 1.06 WHIP in 20 starts last season. He spent six weeks on the disabled list due to a strained lat muscle suffered April 25.
Iwakuma isn’t necessarily viewed as Greinke’s replacement, though Dodgers manager Dave Roberts views him in high regard, via MLB.com:
Iwakuma, haven’t seen a whole lot, but when he’s healthy, he’s as good as anything. Top of the rotation guy. From what I hear, he’s healthy. We’ll see what happens.
In four seasons with the Mariners, Iwakuma was 47-25 with a 3.17 ERA, 117 ERA+, 3.62 FIP and 1.06 WHIP. He finished third in American League Cy Young Award voting in 2013, which was the same season he also was named to the AL All-Star team.
Signing Iwakuma, who will be with the Dodgers through his age-37 season, requires the Dodgers to forfeit their first-round pick in the 2016 draft as the Mariners offered him a qualifying offer that he declined.
That loss is offset in some regard with the Dodgers netting a compensatory pick for Greinke signing with Arizona and Los Angeles receiving another one pick once Howie Kendrick presumably signs elsewhere.
As it currently stands, Iwakuma is the lone healthy right-hander viewed as a lock in the Dodgers’ rotation. He could be joined by Mike Bolsinger or Carlos Frias should Hyun-Jin Ryu not be recovered by Opening Day.
Even with another righty, the Dodgers’ rotation projects to feature a trio of lefties in Brett Anderson, Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood.