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Talks may be ongoing between Iwakuma, A's

Talks may be ongoing between Iwakuma, A's

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All appeared quiet on the A's front in regards to talks with Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma on Wednesday, meaning negotiations may still be considered ongoing.

Though reports indicated Iwakuma was potentially considering declaring his return to his the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles as soon as Monday, when a Major League source confirmed to MLB.com that talks had stalled, neither side seems to have shut the door on an agreement.

Earlier this month, the A's bid $19.1 million for the right to negotiate with for Iwakuma, opening a 30-day window to reach an agreement on a contract. Oakland has until Dec. 7 to finalize a deal or Iwakuma will return to the Golden Eagles of Japan's Pacific League.

Via Twitter, agent Don Nomura said the A's offered Iwakuma a four-year deal worth $15.25 million, for an average of $3.81 million per year. Nomura, however, countered with a deal similar to those received by fellow Japanese pitchers Hiroki Kuroda (three years, $35.3 million) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (six years, $52 million).

Iwakuma told The Associated Press this week that he is disappointed talks have stalled, saying, "If it ends like this, then I guess the Athletics really didn't want me." However, Nomura relayed to the San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday that he "deeply" hopes a deal can be completed by the deadline.

A's officials, typically silent on such negotiations, are not commenting on the matter until a decision has been finalized. If they lose out on Iwakuma, they'll recover the $19.1 million spent on the bid -- money that could then be utilized for bringing in free agents, as well as signing their own arbitration-eligible players.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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