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Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners Move Beyond Flirting Stage

I'm not real familiar with the customs of the Regency Era courtship process. I guess this is the point at which the Mariners pay Iwakuma a visit? Or the point at which the Mariners ask for Iwakuma's company at a ball? Or the point at which the Mariners exchange brief pleasantries with Iwakuma before embarking on a foxhunt with the father? I knew I should have paid closer attention during Lost In Austen. This is another reference to Lost In Austen.

Jon Heyman:

#mariners are very close to a deal with iwakuma. very good pitching there. need a hitter tho.

Unbeknownst to Heyman, the Mariners have several dozen hitters at the Major and minor league levels. It's just that not enough of them are very good. But you can't always get what you want. Everything I know, I learned from The Rolling Stones. My entire apartment is black. The landlord isn't very happy but I'm pretty sure she's just irritated she didn't think of it first because it looks pretty badass. "Landlord" is a hell of a title.

Landlord: Hello, I am the landlord.

Anyway, this is another indication that things are moving right along. This is a time of year that we're told not to put too much stock in rumors - I'm pretty sure I've said that myself a few zillion times - but this isn't one of those rumors where someone has something to gain from spreading mistruth. I absolutely do believe that the Mariners are close to signing Hisashi Iwakuma. There's no Scott Boras or Dan Lozano trying to drive up the market. Iwakuma's low-profile, he just wants to sign, the Mariners are interested, and Seattle's as convenient a city as any for a Japanese player with a family. It all makes perfect sense.

So you can begin mentally penciling Iwakuma into the Mariners' rotation. Or you can begin preparing yourself to mentally pencil Iwakuma into the Mariners' rotation. It's not official yet. I don't know if it should go Felix/Pineda/Iwakuma/Vargas or Felix/Pineda/Vargas/Iwakuma, but I do know that rotation order doesn't really matter, so that's a discussion you can save for the very slowest of days. A day so slow the sun's like "aw fuck it" and hits the snooze for an hour and a half. We will not need a celestial body to be on patrol on that day.

The big question, obviously, is whether Iwakuma will be any good. Kei Igawa was very good in Japan, and not very good here. Hiroki Kuroda was very good in Japan, and has been very good here. I don't believe that Japanese imports are unpredictable, but I do believe that they're very hard to predict, and that no one's yet figured it out. So Iwakuma, if he signs, will be a question mark. But thankfully all questions will be answered in the incontrovertible proving ground of spring training.