Brian Bannister is taking his talents to… Japan.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the 29-year-old right-hander has agreed to a one-year contract with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Central League. The deal also carries an option for 2012.
Bannister drew very little interest from major league clubs this offseason after posting an ugly 6.34 ERA and 1.63 WHIP over 127.2 innings of work for the Royals last year. He struck out only 77 batters and walked 50 while working both as a starter and reliever. Kansas City cut ties with him in early November by outrighting him off their 40-man roster.
The former Mets draft pick is still plenty young and could be back in the states at some point down the road.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.