[9/20/2016] Yakult Swallows might have to part ways with Wladimir Balentien

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.

Side note: salary will most likely be the biggest hurdle. Remember, the Swallows have to deal with Tetsuto Yamada’s rising salary and may also be interested in Chunichi’s Ryosuke Hirata, should he decide to exercise his FA option.

If Balentien becomes available, he could be an interesting option as a designated hitter for Pacific League teams.

The Swallows are expected to offer Josh Lueke an extension. They will probably pass on Kyle Davies and Luis Perez.

Source: Sports Hochi 9/20/2016, Daily Sports 9/20/2016, Nikkan Sports 9/20/2016

[UPDATE 9/22 @ 1:14am]

The Swallows understand it might be difficult to replace a hitter like Balentien. If he asks for a multi-year deal, they might be willing to accept depending on the terms.

Source: Sanspo 9/21/2016

[UPDATE 9/22 @ 10:56pm]

Balentien is prepared to finish his career with the Swallows because they are the team that gave him the chance to play in Japan, a country he now considers his second home.

Source: Sponichi 9/22/2016, Daily Sports 9/22/2016, Sports Hochi 9/22/2016

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NPB Standings [Full]
G W L T
Hiroshima 140 86 50 4
Hanshin 136 73 60 3
Yokohama 136 69 63 4
Yomiuri 139 70 66 3
Chunichi 136 58 73 5
Yakult 139 44 93 2
G W L T
Softbank 138 91 47 0
Seibu 137 77 57 3
Rakuten 131 72 57 2
Orix 134 61 72 1
Nippon Ham 134 53 81 0
Lotte 136 50 85 1
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