Japanese righty Hisashi Iwakuma was posted last week, and interested Major League suitors submitted blind bids in an effort to win the right to negotiate a contract with him. There were very strong rumors coming out of the AL West, where both the Mariners and Rangers were at one time considered the favorites, but in the end, a surprise contender won out, as it's the Oakland A's who now have a chance to sign Iwakuma to a deal.
Ken Rosenthal first named the A's as a possibility late last week, and on Sunday, Don Nomura - Iwakuma's agent - tweeted a message saying the A's had won. This has since been confirmed by MLB, according to Jon Morosi.
Rakuten - Iwakuma's old team - has until Thursday to decide whether or not it will accept Oakland's bid. The probability seems high that it will, and if they do, the A's will then have a 30-day window in which they must negotiate a contract with the pitcher. Should Rakuten reject the bid, or should the A's and Iwakuma fail to reach an agreement, Iwakuma would return to his old team, and the A's would get their posting fee back.
Though the A's featured a strong and young pitching staff in 2010, the idea is that, by stockpiling arms, they would be able to trade one or two of them for a hitter.