Cubs Potential Offseason Targets: Akinori Iwamura

Let's move back to the infield and check in on another possible second basemen...the Rays Akinori Iwamura.

 

Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2007 28 TBD 123 559 491 82 140 21 10 7 34 12 8 58 114 .285 .359 .411 .770 105
2008 29 TBR 152 707 627 91 172 30 9 6 48 8 6 70 131 .274 .349 .380 .729 92
2009 30 TBR 69 260 231 28 67 16 2 1 22 9 1 24 44 .290 .355 .390 .745 94
3 Seasons 344 1526 1349 201 379 67 21 14 104 29 15 152 289 .281 .354 .393 .747 97
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/27/2009.

Rays vs MarlinsIwamura will be 31 next season and missed most of 2009 with a torn MCL. He's due $4.25M in the final year of his deal with a $250K buyout according to Cot's (the St. Petersburg Times says $4.85M with a $550K buyout). Although he has less than 6 years service time, his contract allows him to be a free agent if his option isn't picked up which is becoming standard fare for the Japanese players signing in the U.S. I have no idea what the Rays plans are at second base, and Iwamura himself would like to stay in Tampa according to that link above. But as a small market team, you have to think the Rays would always be willing to move a contract in the right deal if they have other options and Ben Zobrist made a pretty fine other option last season. 

The offensive numbers won't really strike the fear of God in anyone. He has spent most of his time with the Rays as their leadoff man and with a walk rate around 10% per plate appearance while seeing well over 4 pitcher per plate appearances, he seems well suited for that part of the job requirement. His basestealing numbers are rather poor though, being successful less than 65% of the time and a career high of 12.

Defensively, BP has his Rate2 numbers at 96 and below average at second base and 101 for his season at third base in 2007. UZR is a little kinder and the Fan's Scouting Report was really high on him for 2007 and 2008. He also won a bunch of gold gloves in Japan.

I say if the Cubs are chatting with the Rays about Milton Bradley, let's see if they can get Iwamura in a deal instead of Pat Burrell who would have no place to play with the Cubs. Now of course there are other logistics to the whole Bradley/Burrell rumor and I don't even know if the Rays are shopping Iwamura yet or will just buy him out. But if the Cubs did acquire Iwamura, he could challenge Jeff Baker for the starting spot at an affordable price and be a good backup/bench option at third base. It's not Chase Utley but could be another small improvement for the 2010 team.

 

Comments

I vote yes. Plus his wife is hot.

yes

that would give Jaramillo two reasons to buy the Rosetta stone/Japanese edition

of course, Aki could just become Fukudome's hitting coach. So (who needs) Taguchi.

...and Iwamura was the Rays starting third baseman in 2007, the season before Longoria arrived on the scene. He's a definite backup at 3B when ARam does his annual DL stint although Baker will have more power if a longer ARam absence occurs.

Please, no.

We already have a fine second baseman, Ryan Theriot.

I would love this. Aki was loved in the TB clubhouse, and would be a solid utility guy who can back up any infield position.

Trade Bradley for him!!!!

~ducks~

"His basestealing numbers are rather poor though, being successful less than 65% of the time and a career high of 12."

WOW! He'd fall right in-line with The Riot here!

theriot is 74% for his career, but much worse the last 2 years...

75% is the, "it's the worth the risk" standard....

Or we could just teach Fountainout Japanese and save $3 million.

I think this is a great idea. I love the guy. And I'm as sad about it as anyone, but the only thing Fontenot could do for Aki is hand him a bat.

Hell, I'd be willing to throw him at the wall and see if it stuck.

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  • Phil, I just wanted to say thank you for diligently tracking the Cubs prospects in extended spring training and sharing your knowledge with us. It's remarkable how you're able to keep box scores for multiple games at once. I, and I'm sure others here, appreciate the data and insight you provide for us.

    K Dub 21 min 19 sec ago view
  • Thanks PHIL.

    Boy, that is a nifty K:BB ratio Hudson has going at almost 4:1!

    I hope he continues improving.

    The E-Man 6 hours 18 min ago view
  • And of course the Bucs won again playing AZ (not PHIL). They dont seem to have a problem yet with the bottom feeders.

    They picked up 3 games this last week.

    I'm looking forward to them coming to the Chi.

    The E-Man 6 hours 46 min ago view
  • Don't mess with the SI jinx. Since the Javy/Cubs cover came out, he is 2-for-20 with no walks.

    billybucks 6 hours 57 min ago view
  • BRADSBEARD: If all three are assigned to Eugene, the Cubs can play Galindo, Paredes, and Paniagua at the same time by moving Paredes between SS-3B-DH, Galindo between 3B-1B-DH, and Paniagua between 1B-LF-DH. 

    The Cubs like to have their players (including their minor leaguers) learn to play more than one position even if they eventually are projected to settle at one spot, and I suspect that will be reflected at Eugene, with just about everybody who will be assigned there able to play at least two positions. 

    Arizona Phil 7 hours 17 min ago view
  • Thanks - at least the scorer was consistent

    Eric S 7 hours 31 min ago view
  • I don't think the error call was completely out of the blue but the ball took a very bad hop and would have taken a very good play to get it. Same with one of the Stella throws where I think it could have easily been ruled a hit. Neither were cut and dry calls though imo.

    johann 8 hours 36 sec ago view
  • chased a high fastball...

    I think his BABIP during his run has been around .950

    Rob G. 8 hours 16 min ago view
  • Great stuff CubbyBlue!!! I think it inspired today's six spot as well.

    Eric S 8 hours 20 min ago view
  • That's all fine and good, but I think it's short-changing the Arrieta-like affect of his beard

    Eric S 8 hours 24 min ago view
  • Was the error scored on Zobrist's third ab ruled correctly? Ron was saying that it was a pretty tough chance for the fielder

    Eric S 8 hours 33 min ago view
  • Did anybody see that Zobrist strikeout?

    That was extremely disappointing.

    Old and Blue 10 hours 9 min ago view
  • Strangest win of the year, and one of the sweetest. Twice I thought it was easily in the bag, then after the first 2 hitters in the 9th I thought all was lost. Big game for Grimm, Strop & Rondon. But, man, those Cards can hit for power.

    billybucks 10 hours 44 min ago view
  • Very satisfying, gut-check win today. The beers on the trip back to Chicago are going to taste fantastic.

    Eric S 11 hours 42 sec ago view
  • It's still very early but this game felt very important to me and probably knocked 2 years off my life. Seemed like every inning was big.

    johann 11 hours 47 min ago view
  • Yes then they moved him two spot then not so much, back batting 7th

    jacos 11 hours 47 min ago view