Now the Yakult Swallows have announced that a new contract for Wladimir Balentien isn’t sure yet, it remains to be seen if the slugger from Curacao will sign with the club. His (according to the club) questionable defense, his injury record and weak arm may lead to both parties parting ways.
The Swallows have expressed their interest in US minor leaguer Dean Green. The 27-year old player from the Detroit Tigers organization has played at AA and AAA level in 2016.
A combined average of .296 (.286 at AA Erie SeaWolves and .309 at AAA Toledo Mudhens) with 141 hits in 476 at bats, of which 23 doubles and 28 homeruns, may make him an interesting candidate for the Swallows.
According to Yahoo.co.jp, the Swallows and Balentien are still negotiating, but whether they can reach a deal or not depends on the number of years and the salary. Recently the Swallows made clear that Balentien has to accept a pay cut and perhaps even settle for a one-year deal.
With Green at the right side of thirty and Balentien at the wrong side, the choice may not be hard. Even though Green has some power, Balentien’s power numbers are better. But on the other hand, Green can hit for the average, something that Balentien hasn’t done in the past season.
Green’s natural position is first baseman but he has mainly served as a DH throughout his minor league career. His defensive stats were pretty good.
Sure, saying who will be next year’s foreigner for the Swallows is like reading tea leaves. But it starts to look like Wladimir Balentien has to fear for his job with the Yakult Swallows. But perhaps this so called interest in Green is all about politics to “force” Balentien to accept a lesser deal.