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Oakland Athletics and Billy Bean Post High Bid for Hisashi Iwakuma

The A’s have won the bidding for Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma.  As yet unsubstantiated reports indicate the A’s offered roughly $17 million for his services to the Rakuten Golden Eagles, Iwakuma’s old team.

I became aware of Hisashi Iwakuma back between the 2004 and 2005 seasons.  In 2004, at age 23, he had gone a spectacular 15-2 for the Kintetsu Buffaloes, one of the Pacific League’s perennial also-rans.

It was the second year in a row he had won 15 games, which is a lot given NPB’s shorter seasons, and his great 2004 season positioned him as one of the top young pitchers in Japan’s NPB.

That offseason, there was a great deal of co...

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