Brooks Conrad to sign with the Hanshin Tigers


Brooks Conrad became notable to Braves fans for some big home runs in the 2010 season and then became somewhat infamous in the playoffs that year due to some high-profile defensive miscues. Last year he shuttled back and forth between the bigs and Triple-A with the Brewers.  Now, he’s looking eastward. Far eastward:


That link goes to a Japanese article most of you can’ read, so don’t bother.  But Patrick is basically always right about the NPB news.

Good for Conrad. I got to meet him in spring training back in March. He’s a nice guy who seems really likable and who works hard. Here’s hoping he can find some success in Japan.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.