Tag Archives: Oscar Colas

Rodriguez: Defects in the system

Yariel Rodriguez, 26, is reportedly in the Dominican Republic seeking a contract with an MLB team, while Cuba’s baseball federation claims he is under control of the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Central League through 2024.

On the surface, this appears to be cut and dried but is complicated by Japanese teams’ habit of occasionally playing fast and loose with contract details.

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If things are as the FCB and the Dragons say they are, then Rodriguez is unlikely to be allowed to sign with anyone until Chunichi releases him, something that is unlikely to happen without Cuba’s approval. That process would likely play out like it did for Oscar Colas, who between his last at-bat for Japan’s SoftBank Hawks, and his contract with the Chicago White Sox, spent two seasons in limbo.

In December, Chunichi Sports reported an announcement by the FCB that the 26-year-old’s contract with the Dragons had been extended for two years, so Japan’s media is taking the Dragons and the FCB at their word that Rodriguez’s signature is on the contract.

My colleague Claudio Rodriguez of Beisbol Japones.com has supplied this photo of Rodriguez’s signing ceremony:

My dealings with Colas and his contracts and documents with the Hawks painted a picture of both Cuban officials and Hawks hirelings cutting corners because they held all the cards and are unused to scrutiny. Signatures on different documents didn’t remotely match, Colas’ mother’s signature on his first contract – necessary because he was a minor – was misspelled.

Continue reading Rodriguez: Defects in the system

Clearing the decks

Hawks release, Moore, van den Hurk, Uchikawa, Colas on cut day

The Pacific League’s SoftBank Hawks parted company, at least technically with pitchers Matt Moore and Rick van den Hurk, while making longtime captain Seiichi Uchikawa free to complete a deal with the Central League’s Yakult Swallows on Wednesday.

Nippon Professsional Baseball’s teams are required to submit their reserve lists for the 2021 season on Dec. 2, the big day for releases across Japan. The moves don’t necessarily mean that neither Moore nor van den Hurk will be back with the four-time defending Japan Series champions, but it does mean they were unable to or unwilling to exercise an option to keep them.

Cuban two-way player Oscar Colas, who has been on the restricted list since Feb. 19, was released by not being placed on the Hawks’ 2021 reserve list, meaning he will be free to sign with an MLB club as an international amateur when the next international signing period opens in June.

Cuts throw import market wide open

The winter NPB market for import players heated up considerably with Tuesday’s cuts when a number of experienced players with established value were left off their clubs’ reserves list. Here’s a brief rundown:

Lotte Marines
Seibu Lions
Rakuten Eagles
Nippon Ham Fighters
Orix Buffaloes

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Yomiuri Giants
Hanshin Tigers
Chunichi Dragons
DeNA Baystars
Hiroshima Carp
Yakult Swallows