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Rakuten: Akinori Iwamura to get a 2-year deal worth 400M yen?

by on Nov.15, 2010 @ 11:05 am, under NPB

According Sanspo, Senichi Hoshino apparently reached out to Akinori Iwamura and said that he wanted to play baseball with him.

On Sunday, Iwamura informed about 500 locals of his decision during a festival in Uwajima, Ehime.  While speaking on a stage, Iwamura said, "Just the other day, I came to terms on an agreement.  And the club [I'll be joining] is the Rakuten Eagles located in Sendai.  I felt a good vibe with Rakuten."

Iwamura also posted a note on his blog about his decision and said he felt relieved (via Nikkan Sports).

And according to Sports Hochi, the team is preparing a multi-year deal (possibly 2-year deal worth a total 400M yen) and will present Iwamura with the number 1.

13 comments on “Rakuten: Akinori Iwamura to get a 2-year deal worth 400M yen?

  1. muratafan

    Dreadful, just dreadful. Did they AT LEAST ask for a tryout? Goodness, Aki was dismissed by TWO teams in the last year and why on earth would his mobility increase in the meantime? $2mil/year would have probably netted Goto and someone else. Maybe even could have been used towards the purchase of Cabrera, Murata, Tamura, Uchikawa or others. Aki is done, really is there anyone – besides Hoshino – who thinks Aki has anything left? Iguchi and Jojima both got raw deals in MLB and came back to be very productive. However, NEITHER was injured to the extent that Aki was. Throw in the fact that Aki’s HR numbers were grossly inflated by playing at Jingu and you have VERY little – if any – improvement in 3rd base versus Norihiro Nakamura.

    1. Gen Post author

      How do you REALLY feel about the move, muratafan? :p

      Let me ask you this:

      If it was a toss up between Kazuo Matsui and Akinori Iwamura, which would you choose?

      To me, it seems like the Eagles were fairly intent on signing one, or the other. Of the two, Iwamura probably made more sense as he essentially replaces Norihiro Nakamura at third.

      Incidentally, I think Nakamura signed a 2-year, 300M yen deal with the Eagles two years ago.

  2. eaglesfan

    well that may be true that they could have gone after another free agent except:
    murata wants to stay at yokohama
    tamura wants to go to MLB and there will be teams who will take a chance
    Cabrera is old and where would he play?? With Ruiz and Yamasaki in rakuten there, they have 3 players fighting for DH and 1st base.. which doesnt make sense.
    Uchikawa is the same… DH and 1st base only…
    I am assuming rakuten brings back Ruiz of course. Problem is rakuten needs a 3rd basemen and not many are out there for free agency.

    1. muratafan

      based upon what I’m reading, I think Tamura could very well be had for the amount they are paying Aki. Look at what the Baystars offered Murata and I could see him bolting for the Eagles if they gave him a 2 year/$5m deal. That’s only a $500k/year difference between Murata and Aki and probably well worth it. If not Murata, then Tamura.

  3. muratafan

    Kaz got a somewhat raw deal at Houston, still has some life left in him. Aki’s knee was just crushed in the 2nd base collision in Boston. Not only does he lose speed, he lost power. The fact that Aki is MORE expensive than Nakamura is pretty stunning. The Eagles have had very, very little success in the FA market, wit the exception of Rick Short and Fernandez (who they let go WAY too early). The busts are pretty long to list, but Phillips, Linden, Nakamura and Rasner come to mind pretty quickly!

    1. eaglesfan

      true.. thats a pretty bad list there… hopefully Ruiz will be better.. he gives them some pop that they badly need. I just wonder what else they can get in terms of free agents to help. They need 1 starting pitcher at least to somewhat cover the loss of Iwakuma. They need 3rd, SS as well as an outfielder with Power. Maybe another foreigner… the best way to fix their problems is to draft and develop well…

    2. Steve

      How did Kaz get a raw deal in Houston? They gave him a contract few other teams would and kept playing him long after most other teams would have jettisoned him. He was beyond awful at the plate for a long, long time before being released. He OPM’ed .659 in his last full season, and .352 in a month last year. There are pitchers who OPM higher than that!

    3. Gen Post author

      @muratafan: So wait, are you saying you’d rather have Kazuo Matsui over Akinori Iwamura? Even though Matsui is 4 years older than Iwamura?

      Incidentally, for reference, here are the numbers the two posted this past year in the minors:

      Iwamura: 50 G, 43-for-163, 65 TB, 404/393/797
      Matsui: 82 G, 79-for-301, 105 TB, 331/349/680

      Iwamura also missed a chunk of time when he suffered a concussion during a minor league game on 7/28.

  4. muratafan

    I didn’t say raw deal, but qualified it with a ‘somewhat’ raw deal. Kaz slumped big time at the start of the season and then the Astros started playing Keppinger instead of letting Kaz hit his way out of his slump. I think Kaz has more left than Aki since Kaz didn’t seem to lose that much quickness. Aki’s mobility – or lack thereof – was a stunner to Pittsburgh and the press there found out that the Pirates had not even given Aki a tryout to determine how much mobility he had lost. The Pittsburgh front office took a bit of a hit on that one, although the Pirates front office isn’t exactly leading the league in good moves, lol!

    I just think paying $2m/year for a someone who was released by not one, but TWO MLB teams last year when Uchikawa or maybe even Tamura could be had for SLIGHTLY more $$$ is a big, big, big gamble and really not even a gamble. There’s nothing to suggest that Aki is going to be able to turn it around in NPB this year or next, or the year after next or ever.

    Tamura wants a multi-year deal and I think the Eagles could get him for 3 yrs at $2.5m/year. I might be a bit optimistic about that figure, but I would think that would get at least a look from Tamura.

  5. muratafan

    One other thing about Aki: his power numbers went way down in MLB and part of that had to do with leveling his swing. He lead NPB in K’s at least once when he was with Yakult and that was before they moved the fences back (or at least that’s what Jingu officials said). I don’t think Aki is going to hit for much power in the bigger Kleenex Miyagi stadium and I can’t imagine him having much in the way of mobility/range at 3rd.

    The Eagles need a 3rd-sacker and a corner outfielder. Daisuke Kusano has played some third base for the Eagles and isn’t going to set the world on fire. BUT, he is very, very cheap and serviceable. The Eagles saved some $$$ by losing Nakamura and that money could’ve gone to plug a huge hole in the corner outfield. A starting outfield of Tamura, Hijirisawa and Teppei is a very good start for the Eagles. Throw in Yamasaki (who’s bound for another decline), Ruiz (who’s a bit iffy given his huge K rate) and Shima and that’s decent start to the lineup. Kusano could hit 8th after Takasu and Watanabe could hit 9th.

    Right now, I would have to hit Aki in the 6-hole after Ruiz and HOPE he could somehow hit 10-15 homeruns and I just don’t see that happening.

    1. eaglesfan

      Sounds decent… i agree too that the Eagles need a 3rd base and a corner outfielder with power to go with hijirisawa and teppei. The question is if an MLB team will offer Tamura a Major league contract(not just a minor league one) that he may bite and try to see if he can make it in the majors. If he can be serviceable in majors, he will make a lot more money in the States. I just do not know if there is anyone out there that can fill in at 3rd other than Iwamura in terms of free agents. Kleenex stadium is tough to hit HR in so to get guys that can hit for average and be clutch in RBI situations is very important.

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