11/24/10 4:55 PM EST
Talks may be ongoing between Iwakuma, A's
Neither side appears to have shut door on possible deal
By Jane Lee / MLB.com
Though reports indicated Iwakuma was potentially considering declaring his return to his the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles as soon as Monday, when a Major League source confirmed to MLB.com that talks had stalled, neither side seems to have shut the door on an agreement.
Earlier this month, the A's bid $19.1 million for the right to negotiate with for Iwakuma, opening a 30-day window to reach an agreement on a contract. Oakland has until Dec. 7 to finalize a deal or Iwakuma will return to the Golden Eagles of Japan's Pacific League.
Via Twitter, agent Don Nomura said the A's offered Iwakuma a four-year deal worth $15.25 million, for an average of $3.81 million per year. Nomura, however, countered with a deal similar to those received by fellow Japanese pitchers Hiroki Kuroda (three years, $35.3 million) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (six years, $52 million).
Iwakuma told The Associated Press this week that he is disappointed talks have stalled, saying, "If it ends like this, then I guess the Athletics really didn't want me." However, Nomura relayed to the San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday that he "deeply" hopes a deal can be completed by the deadline.
A's officials, typically silent on such negotiations, are not commenting on the matter until a decision has been finalized. If they lose out on Iwakuma, they'll recover the $19.1 million spent on the bid -- money that could then be utilized for bringing in free agents, as well as signing their own arbitration-eligible players.