Now that the A’s have won the bidding war to negotiate a contract with Japanese starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma all we can do it sit back, wait and speculate until Oakland (hopefully) signs him.
Here are a few interesting links on Iwakuma and the A’s:
* ESPN’s Rob Neyer entertains the idea that Oakland made a hard run at Iwakuma to keep him away from AL West division rivals.
* Fangraphs guesses that the A’s will hold on to all of their starting pitchers despite speculation that a trade for a hitter could be on the horizon if Iwakuma signs.
* A’s Nation has a nice writeup on Iwakuma’s pitching arsenal.
* Seattle Times reporter Larry Stone has some info on Iwakuma including a brief scouting report.
* And here’s the official Iwakuma Web site which is fun to check out as long as you don’t mind having no idea what’s going on since almost everything is in Japanese.
Personally, I’m still excited by the prospect of the A’s adding Iwakuma to the rotation and the possibilities that would present to general manager Billy Beane on the trade market if he goes shopping for a hitter.
My gut says that third base, outfield and designated hitter are the parts of Oakland’s lineup that are primed for an offensive upgrade if Beane can find the right deal for a young stud hitter in exchange for some of his surplus starting pitching.
Do I have some potential trade targets to throw around right this minute?
Unfortunately, no. I’m afraid I’m a little too busy chasing my 18-month-old son around and helping out my 8-month pregnant wife to thoroughly scour the rosters of other teams.
But I have faith that Beane and Company are hard at work trying to piece together viable trade offers to add some thunder to the lineup and put the A’s in the thick of the 2011 playoff race.
And now, for your viewing pleasure, here’s some slow motion footage of Iwakuma in action. A’s broadcaster Ray Fosse would absolutely love this: