Iwakuma update: Talks reportedly still ongoing

Greetings from Orlando. The A’s have until 9 p.m. PT — 12 a.m. ET here at the Winter Meetings — to sign Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma. Talks are reportedly still ongoing, but there is no indication that the two sides are close to finalizing a contract. My understanding is that Iwakuma does need to have a physical done by the time of the deadline (which has yet to happen) if a deal is reached, a notion that was confirmed by a Major League source. That ruling could be lenient, though — I’m not entirely sure. The A’s are still not commenting on the situation and don’t plan to until negotiations are complete. I wouldn’t be surprised if the club uses every possible minute up until that deadline, though an announcement could seemingly come as early as 6 p.m. ET, when Billy Beane is scheduled to meet with reporters. I believe both sides are focused on getting a deal done, but money seems to be talking here — and Iwakuma’s agent wants lots of it.

Updated: According to the Mainchini Daily News, Iwakuma is scheduled to give a press conference Wednesday in Japan announcing his return to the Rakuten Golden Eagles. “Oakland put a four-year, $15.25 million offer on the table for Iwakuma
on Nov. 19 and basically told him to take it or leave it,” the Daily News said. “Iwakuma’s
camp believed that the terms were below the pitcher’s worth and showed
a lack of sincerity, leading to a breakdown in talks.” However, the report did note that talks are still ongoing.

More updates to come as the day continues…  

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