SEATTLE -- Hisashi Iwakuma had his $7 million contract option for the 2015 season vested by the Mariners on Thursday, as expected, meaning the standout right-hander will return for his fourth season with the club next year.
The Mariners had the option of extending Iwakuma's two-year deal for a third season at $7 million, or buying out the contract's option year for $1 million. They chose to extend the 33-year-old's deal after he went 15-9 with a 3.52 ERA in 28 starts and continued providing a strong No. 2 in the rotation behind Felix Hernandez
Iwakuma was paid $6.5 million in each of the first two years of the current pact, which he signed after going 9-5 with a 3.16 ERA in 30 games (16 starts) in his first season in Seattle in 2012 on his original $3.8 million contract.
Iwakuma is 38-20 with a 3.07 ERA and 1.086 WHIP in 91 games (77 starts) in three seasons in Seattle and was an American League All-Star in 2013.
The Mariners also announced Thursday that pitchers and catchers will report to Peoria, Ariz., on Feb. 20, with the first workout Feb. 21. Position players will report Feb. 24, followed by the first full-squad workout Feb. 25.
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.