Manny Acosta’s agent, Gene Mato, announced on Twitter this afternoon that his client has signed a one-year contract with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Central League. He’ll make $1.65 million guaranteed in 2013 and could earn an additional $500,000 with possible incentives.
Acosta was non-tendered by the Mets late last month after posting a 6.46 ERA and 46/25 K/BB ratio over 47 1/3 innings this past season. He had a solid 1.78 ERA and 23 strikeouts over 25 1/3 innings after the All-Star break, but evidently he didn’t find a similar guarantee stateside.
Acosta doesn’t turn 32 until May, so there’s a good chance he’ll return to MLB at some point in the near future. Goodbye for now, Acostalypse.
Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.
OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.
It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.