The Seattle Mariners will continue their relationship with pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, signing the right-hander to a minor league contract on Monday with an invitation to spring training.
Iwakuma, who had surgery on his shoulder in September, has spent his entire six-year career with the Mariners after moving to MLB from Japan’s Pacific League. The Mariners exercised a $1 million buyout earlier this offseason.
The 36-year-old Iwakuma had debridement surgery on Sept. 29 by by Dr. Keith Meister. The procedure removes dead, damaged, or infected tissue in an effort to improve the healing of healthy tissue. He is expected to resume throwing in about three months.
The 2017 season was a tough one for Iwakuma. He was 0-2 with a 4.35 ERA in six starts before going on the disabled list after a May 3 start against the Angels at Safeco Field. The injury prevented Iwakuma from pitching the necessary 125 inning to trigger a $15 million vesting option.
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Iwakuma is 63-39 with a 3.42 ERA since signing with the Mariners after pitching 11 seasons for Kintetsu and Rakuten.