Mariners sign Japanese free-agent pitcher Iwakuma

January 5, 2012 - 10:48 PM

SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Mariners have signed free-agent Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma to a one-year contract.

The team announced the move Thursday.

Iwakuma has a 107-69 record in 226 career games in Japan. The right-hander was selected the 2008 Pacific League MVP and winner of the Eiji Sawamura Award (the equivalent of the Cy Young Award) after going 21-4 with a 1.87 ERA.

Last season, Iwakuma went 6-7 with a 2.42 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 17 starts. He missed part of the season with a sore right shoulder.

Last offseason, the Oakland Athletics bid $19.1 million under the posting system to win negotiating rights to Iwakuma. The sides were unable to reach an agreement during the 30-day negotiating period and Iwakuma returned to his Japanese team.