Rick van den Hurk is poised to become the latest former Hawks player to move to Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Sankei Sports reported Tuesday, citing multiple sources.
According to the report, the Swallows have been actively pursuing the 35-year-old, who was non-tendered in December and the two sides are expected to work out their agreement in the coming days.
In recent years, the Swallows have got a surprising amount of mileage out of a pair of Hawks retreads, submarine right-hander Hirofumi Yamanaka and lefty Hiroki Yamada, although the Hawks have more than got their money’s worth from evergreen utility infielder Keizo Kawashima.
Van den Hurk, who was one of two former Dutch internationals on the Hawks last season after Wladimir “Coco” Balentien traded Jingu for Fukuoka. Although neither had a banner year for SoftBank in 2020, they did have at least one big game together.
Van den Hurk has been used sparingly by the Hawks due to a variety of physical issues that have not always been easy to pin down — even for the pitcher himself — but has been dynamite whenever he’s been on the mound.