Time for some sports talk!

Hisashi Iwakuma, currently considered the 2nd best pitcher in Japan, appears to be on his way to the United States, as long as the Oakland Athletics are able to sign him.

The A’s won the bid to be able to negotiate with Iwakuma, and assuming they are able to hammer out a deal, Oakland will be getting the services of a very highly-sought player.

This is the same route that Daisuke Matsuzaka took on his way to the Boston Red Sox, after having a great, illustrious career in Japan. He’s still a dominant starter in MLB (when he’s healthy), and from the looks of it Iwakuma is poised to be just as successful.

This article from USA Today mentions that Iwakuma, considered the second best pitcher in Japan behind Yu Darvish, is a solid No. 4 starter, according to ESPN’s Keith Law.

As Reuters states, Iwakuma compiled a 10-9 record and 2.82 earned run average last season, averaging nearly seven strikeouts against 1.6 walks per nine innings.

The right-hander was a 21-game winner with a 1.87 ERA in 2008, and earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team at the 2009 World Baseball Classic where he helped Japan win the title.

Darvish, who put on quite a show at the World Baseball Classic last year, is a year away from his chance to make a splash in the USA.

Assuming the A’s are able to sign Iwakuma, he should be well on his way to sharing his talents with an entirely new international audience.

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