According to YakyuDataBase.com, Wladimir Balentien’s future with the Yakult Swallows is uncertain. The website quotes Japanese sports newspapers Sport Hochi, Nikkan Sports and Daily Sports.
The newspapers are writing that “the Yakult Swallows may have to part ways with Wladimir Balentien after the current season. There are concerns about his defense and erratic hitting, combined with his high salary. They will discuss an extension, but may not be able to reach an agreement.”
The salary may be the biggest issue for the Swallows. They have to deal with the rising salary of slugging second baseman Tetsuto Yamada. Next to these salary concerns, the club may be interested in outfielder Ryosuke Hirata of the Chunichi Dragons if he exercises his free agent option.
According to Yakyu DataBase, Balentien may be an interesting player as DH for Pacific League teams if he will become available as free agent.
Balentien plays with the Yakult Swallows since 2011. In that first season the slugger from Curacao hit 31 homeruns. He equaled that number in 2012 before breaking the season homerun record of Sadaharu Oh in 2013 with sixty dingers, five more than the Japanese legend.
In 2014 he repeated the numbers of 2011 and 2012 but in 2015 he was hit with the injury bug and missed most of the season.
So far this season his total of homeruns stands at twenty.