[9/20/2017] Yakult Swallows planning to sit down with Wladimir Balentien

According to Sanspo, the Yakult Swallows are planning to sit down with Wladimir Balentien to talk about the 2018 season. Balentien is in the final year of a three-year contract that is worth an estimated three million US dollars this year. If the Swallows offer Balentien a new contract, it will most likely be a one-year deal.

The Swallows realize it is not easy to find a player on the foreign market that can hit thirty home runs a year. They are also short on players and losing him could create a big hole. However, nothing is set in stone with a new manager joining the fray and the Swallows continually checking the overseas market for new talent.

Source: Sanspo 9/20/2017

[UPDATE 9/23 @ 1:58am]

Balentien likes the Swallows and considered them his second home. He would like to return next year if possible. He is even open to finishing his career with the team.

Source: Sanspo 9/22/2017

[UPDATE 10/4 @ 4:10pm]

Balentien returned to the United States out of Narita Airport today. Before leaving, he told reporters he ideally wanted to find a way back to the Majors, but considering his age, felt his best option might be to continue playing in Japan. He is more than open to returning next year under the right circumstances.

The Yomiuri Giants are planning to keep an eye on Balentien’s movements.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/4/2017, Sports Hochi 10/4/2017, Tokyo Sports 10/4/2017, Daily Sports 10/4/2017, Sponichi 10/4/2017

[UPDATE 11/19 @ 3:08am]

The Swallows feel Balentien might stay.

Source: Sanspo 11/17/2017

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Yokohama 143 73 65 5
Yomiuri 143 72 68 3
Chunichi 143 59 79 5
Yakult 143 45 96 2
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Rakuten 143 77 63 3
Orix 143 63 79 1
Nippon Ham 143 60 83 0
Lotte 143 54 87 2
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