OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics have apparently won the bidding rights to Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma. The A's now have 30 days to reach a contract agreement with Iwakuma.
Seattle and Texas are also believed to have been in the running for Iwakuma's services.
Iwakuma, widely considered the second-best pitcher in Japan behind Yu Darvish, pitched the last six seasons for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Pacific League. He was 10-9 last year with a 2.82 ERA, but was the league MVP in 2008 when he won 21 games for the fifth-place Eagles.
The 29-year-old hurler helped pitch Japan to a World Baseball Classic title in 2009 and earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team that year, as he pitched to a 1.35 ERA - the lowest of any pitcher that threw at least 15 innings.