According to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker, free agent Jose Contreras is considering a move to Japan.
Contreras’ 16-year-old son is hoping
to take part in an exchange program with a Japanese high school.
According to a Sanspo.com report, Contreras reached out to the Hanshin
Tigers earlier this week. Though the Tigers have likely ruled him out,
according to a team source, other teams could have interest in the
Contreras was 6-13 with a 4.92 ERA
and 1.47 WHIP in 28 games (23 starts) between the White Sox and Rockies
in 2009. He was impressive upon his arrival in Colorado, posting a 1.59
ERA and 17/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings. Whatever his age (he’s allegedly 37 years old, but we all know better), Contreras still has pretty strong peripherals and would likely find success in Japan.
Based on the location of his son’s
school, Newman thinks Contreras would be a good fit with the SoftBank
Hawks and Hiroshima Carp.
By the way, if you are looking for the best blog to keep up with the goings-on in Japanese baseball, bookmark NPB Tracker.
The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.
Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.
Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.