LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers' pursuit of Hisashi Iwakuma is now officially over, with the pitcher returning to the Seattle Mariners on a one-year contract for 2016, with vesting options for 2017 and 2018, the Mariners announced on Thursday night.
Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto made the announcement at the Mariners holiday party.
Jerry Dipoto delivers a special gift to the front office at the #Mariners holiday party: Kuma is back. pic.twitter.com/8Bo8Y93ub2— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) December 18, 2015
The Dodgers had a reported agreement with Iwakuma for a three-year, $45 million contract, but reports out of Japan on Thursday said Iwakuma failed the Dodgers' physical, and a new deal could not be worked out.
Earlier Thursday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he wasn't given daily updates on the club's pursuit of Iwakuma, but did address the issue.
"I don't know a whole lot about it. I know there was an opportunity to sign him. I just know that I like the player when he's healthy," Roberts said. "There's really not a day-to-day of we might do this, we might do that. I don't know where we stand right now."
Iwakuma was 9-5 with a 3.54 ERA in 20 starts with Seattle in 2015, with 111 strikeouts and 21 walks in 129... innings. He has a 3.17 ERA in four years in the majors, all with the Mariners, and was third in the American League Cy Young voting in 2013.
The Dodgers' offseason has seen their pursuit to keep Zack Greinke usurped by not one, but two teams within the division, then had a trade for closer Aroldis Chapman scuttled by a month-old domestic violence incident just coming to light. Iwakuma, a fallback option for Greinke, then reportedly agreed to a deal, only to see it fall apart.
Roberts walked the company line when asked if he was concerned about the Dodgers' offseason to date.
"I like the core and nucleus of players we have on the 25-man roster. It's impressive for the [front office] not to be reactionary. There's a push to do something right now," Roberts said. "For us to make a good go at Greinke, and what happened with Aroldis, it's not that we're sitting on our hands. The guys are working hard to better out club. We don't believe to force something.
"There's plenty of time between now and opening day, and it's been proven that just because you win the offseason doesn't mean you win the postseason. There's really no correlation."
The Dodgers, for now, will retain their first-round draft pick in 2016, which would have been forfeited had they signed Iwakuma, one of 16 free agents to decline a qualifying offer in November.