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A's making run at Japanese phenom?

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The bidding for Japanese free agent pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma ended Friday and there are strong indications that the Athletics made an aggressive bid to land exclusive negotiating rights. The Rangers and Mariners are known to have also made bids for the prized right-hander, who posted a 10-9 record and a 2.82 ERA.

Iwakuma, 29, is 101-62 with a 3.32 ERA in 10 seasons in Japan. If he came over, he would command a three year deal similar to the one Hirorki Kuroda received for approximately 8 million dollars a year from the Dodgers.

Iwakuma has a fastball that sits comfortably at about 91 mph, but has great secondary pitches with a splitter and two-seamer to back it up. He is primarily thought of as a ground-ball pitcher, perfect for the conditions in Safeco Field and Oakland's Coliseum.