Dodgers News: Hisashi Iwakuma Comments On Failed Physical, Re-Signing With Mariners
Erika Schultz-The Seattle Times

Entering the offseason Zack Greinke opting out of the remaining three years and $71 million remaining on his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers was a mere formality.

So too was Greinke inevitably declining the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the club.

Once both were made official, the Dodgers reportedly had re-signing Greinke as their top priority. Part owner Magic Johnson openly stated as much when speaking after the introductory press conference for manager Dave Roberts.

However, Johnson did allow for the possibility of a team coming in with an astronomical offer that Los Angeles may not match.

That’s exactly what the Arizona Diamondbacks did, seemingly barging in at the 11th hour to steal Greinke with a six-year, $206.5 million contract. Greinke later said he was “minutes away” from signing with another team, reportedly the San Francisco Giants, who were in a bidding war with the Dodgers for the 32 year old.

The Dodgers picked up the pieces and reportedly agreed to a three-year, $45 million contract with Hisashi Iwakuma two days after Greinke reached his deal with the Diamondbacks.

Iwakuma didn’t represent a replacement for Greinke, but he was a step in the right direction for a rotation with clear holes in it. However, Iwakuma’s contract was never made official as he failed the physical it was contingent on.

Rather than renegotiate with the Dodgers, Iwakuma re-signed with the Seattle Mariners on a one-year deal with vesting options for 2017 and 2018. Despite the issue that arose, Iwakuma asserted he’s healthy, according to Greg Johns of

“I am very, very healthy,” said Iwakuma, who went 9-4 with a 3.10 ERA in 17 starts and threw a no-hitter after returning from the disabled list last year. “They had their own medical issues. We went through a physical, and they said they wanted to renegotiate. That’s all I can say about that.”

While he agreed to a deal with the Dodgers, Iwakuma added his desire was to return with Seattle:

“I think it was two days ago [that the Dodgers] told me they wanted me to renegotiate, and right when that happened, the Mariners reached out to me and made me a good offer,” Iwakuma said after his news conference. “In my head, I knew I wanted to come back and play here. So I had a gray cloud on top of me that went away two days ago. It’s been a great two days.”

Mariners assistant general manager Jeff Kingston said the club isn’t concerned over Iwakuma’s health:

“We are very comfortable with his physical condition,” assistant general manager Jeff Kingston said. “Certainly it was a surprise [that the Dodgers had concerns], given our information and what our doctors saw and our history with the player.”

The Dodgers initially lured Iwakuma out of the Pacific Northwest in part due to guaranteeing a third year on the contract. The right-hander has spent the past four seasons with the Mariners, going 47-25 with a 3.17 ERA, 117 ERA+. 3.62 FIP and 1.06 WHIP.

There’s yet to be any public indication what the Dodgers saw in Iwakuma’s physical that led to the concern. The 34 year old missed was placed on the disabled list and six weeks last season due to a right lat strain.