According to FOXSports analyst, Ken Rosenthal, the Oakland A’s could surprise the baseball world by landing Japanese pitcher, Hisashi Iwakuma. The A’s, Rangers, and Mariners are all figured to have submitted bids for the Japanese pitcher. Rosenthal notes that the highest-bidder has not been determined yet, but believes that the A’s are in good standing with their strong push to sign the pitcher.
The A’s, who led the American League in ERA this season, have enough pitching, but could deal some of their young arms for a bat this offseason. If the A’s were to acquire Iwakuma, they could potentially deal him right away as part of a package deal to land a bat. The A’s could also ship away pitcher Vin Mazzaro, who is talented, but did not play well down the stretch this season. Mazzaro, 24, has spent a lot of his career in the Minor Leagues as a dominant force, but has not enjoyed the same type of success in the majors yet. He finished the season with a 6-8 with a 4.27 ERA in 18 starts with Oakland.
The A’s, while they improved this season by finishing with a .500 record, have a very lackluster offense. So, landing Iwakuma could potentially open up new doors for offensive additions this winter for GM Billy Beane and staff. The A’s failed to attract any big talent last winter, so landing Iwakuma could be huge. The A’s, as Rosenthal suggests, could go after Milwaukee’s 3B Casey McGehee. Having Iwakuma would give the A’s even more flexibility with their pitching, and since the Brewers obviously need pitching, the A’s could put together a deal that helps them offensively.
If the rumors are true, this is only the beginning in what figures to be a very busy winter this year for Beane and Co.