The big news from last week is the return of Hisashi Iwakuma, after a failed physical left him undesirable to the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is a familiar scenario, given the way the Mariners got him the first time, after he failed his physical with Oakland. Kuma says he’s happy to be back, and while it’s probably a bit of an embarrassment to have to come back here after he declined our initial offer, it looks like he will still be getting paid a fair amount, and the contract offer we settled on with him also works out in the team’s favor, what with options and a less money than the Dodgers were going to pay (but more than we had originally offered, depending on how he does year by year). It all works out; fans of Iwakuma’s like myself get to have him back for at least a year if not more, Iwakuma gets to continue working in a city that adores him, and doesn’t have to move his family to Los Angeles, everyone’s happy. Our rotation is now completely complete, per Jerry Dipoto, and that suits me just fine. Tijuan Walker was also apparently pretty happy about it:
Steve Cishek was also acquired recently, which is both good and bad. Cishek will compete with Joaquin Benoit for the closer job in spring training, per Shannon Drayer, and I am hoping that regardless of who gets it, they will both stay in the bullpen as relievers. I saw Cishek in person in both Philadelphia and DC last year, and while I love the sidearm craziness, he did not really impress in those games; in fact, the Marlins lost both of them; if I remember correctly, Cishek was used as short relief in DC and as a closer in Philly, where he failed the save. Seattle fan reaction seemed fairly tepid when the acquisition occurred, and Cishek had problems this season, so I don’t know what to think, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what happens with him. If nothing else, we have some interesting arms in the bullpen this year.
Other than that, not much has happened with Seattle baseball over the past few days. Tonight is the Lookout Landing HoLLiday Party at Mollusk, the new version of Gastropod, where Epic Ales is now brewed and the food trends towards Indonesian fusion experimental (which is a thing I just made up to describe it). The space look good for a large group, and the beer and company should be excellent. Unfortunately this has to be a very short post, my work is having massive slowdowns with pretty much the entire system today, but I wanted to take a second to acknowledge that Iwakuma is not lost to us, and I see that as a positive. Hope to see some of you at Mollusk tonight!