Hawks unlikely to block Colas deal

With strong-armed slugging outfielder Oscar Colas having defected and in pursuit of a major league job, the SoftBank Hawks are in a position to block his signing since he remains on the club’s 70-man roster.

The Hawks have the right to sign Colas for 2020, and even if he doesn’t sign, they can still put him on the restricted list, preventing a major league team from signing him. In an ideal world, they could sell their rights in him to an interested party.

Unfortunately, transfers of players from NPB to MLB are governed by the posting system — and the window for posting players for 2020 closed on Dec. 5.

Putting Colas on the restricted list would also require the Hawks to expend a roster spot on him, so it’s a no-win situation for the three-time defending Japan Series champs. The last player to go on NPB’s restricted list was Lourdes Gurriel Jr. who refused to report to camp after signing a contract to join his older brother Yulieski with the DeNA BayStars.

Jim Allen

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

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