Hisashi Iwakuma, one of the more under the radar free agents on the market this winter, has agreed to a two-year extension with the Mariners with an option for 2015. Iwakuma gets $14 million over the two years: $6.5 million in each of 2013 and 2014, with a $1 million buyout on 2015's $7 million option, according to Jon Heyman of CBS. The 31-year old Iwakuma made $1.5 million in 2012, his first year with an MLB club.
Iwakuma split the year between the bullpen and rotation for Seattle last season, but he thrived once he moved into the starting five. In 16 starts this past season, Iwakuma had a 2.65 ERA in 95 innings, striking out 78 and walking only 28.
The Mariners are betting on Iwakuma continuing to be a solid complement to ace Felix Hernandez. With Jason Vargas and the young and impressive Erasmo Ramirez also retrurning, the Mariners have put together a pretty solid rotation, something necessary to compete in the tough as nails AL West.