According to a number of reports, it seems there's a chance that Hisashi Iwakuma (RAK) could be posted during the upcoming off-season. One unnamed rep for an MLB team even told reporters that there was a very good chance (9/10) that Iwakuma would be posted. The unnamed rep also said that at least one MLB would be interested in Iwakuma, if not more.
Iwakuma was a bit guarded about the rumors and said that he had nothing to say until the standings became more finalized and that all he was thinking about was winning and doing his best in his remaining starts. He also said he would be lying if he said he had no interest in the Majors and that it happened to one option, but that he didn't have any plans to think about it until the season was over.
Sponichi mentions that more than 5 clubs sent scouts to watch Iwakuma pitch at Kleenex Stadium this year. During his start on the 11th (vs Orix), the Diamondbacks and Indians were apparently on hand to watch Iwakuma. Another Sponichi article drops team names like the Yanks, Mets, and Angels.
Below are some quotes from scouts scattered between amongst the two Sponichi articles:
An NL scout: Iwakuma has good control. He's got a quick pace and I like that he throws a stable game.
Another scout was apparently worried about Iwakuma's right elbow and said: The question would be whether or not he's capable of pitching on 4-days of rest.
Indians scout Dave DeFreitas: He has good control over all his pitches. He's has better control than most of your average MLB pitchers. He's a reliable type of pitcher any club would want.
IMHO, this really wouldn't make much sense for the Eagles. If they thought this season was bad, it'll get a lot worse if they lose Iwakuma. It would be another story if they had a rotation overflowing with starters, but outside of the "Big Three" of Iwakuma, Masahiro Tanaka, and Satoshi Nagai, the Eagles really haven't managed to find another capable starter.
Take a look at this:
Big Three Total W-L: 29 - 24
Other Starters: 19 - 31
Incidentally, Iwakuma is in the 2nd year of a 3-year deal.
For those wondering, Iwakuma can throw a fastball (tops out at 152km/h), slider, fork, shuto, curve, and cutter.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that Iwakuma is set to earn his international FA option during the 2011 season. The question then becomes, do the Eagles let him go for free after next year, or post him this year and try to make some money.