Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Report: Seibu Lions re-sign Esmerling Vasquez for 2016

The Saitama Seibu Lions announced on Wednesday that Esmerling Vasquez will return to the team for 2016. They also wrote that his number will change from 26 to No. 42, which is what Miguel Mejia wore last season.

Vasquez, 32, was previously an MLB pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Minnesota Twins. He also had stints in the Dominican and Venezuelan winter leagues.

He initially made the opening day roster in 2015 as a middle relief pitcher. Manager Norio Tanabe would use him for the seventh inning and in medium leverage.

Vasquez did not give up a home run for 2015, but struggled with control as he was wild with pitches and walking batters. He was demoted in August and never saw time with the ichi-gun again. In 34 games, he went 3-1 with a 3.63 ERA and nine holds.

This is a reasonable signing as he was valuable in the bullpen, but could not be consistent enough to remain with the top team. If Vasquez can fix his control and command, he could work as a seventh inning reliever.

He is the only Non-Asian foreigner out of the 2015 free agent signings to return with the team for next year. The Lions already parted ways with IF Anthony Seratelli, P Wade LeBlanc and P Miguel Mejia at the end of 2015.


Other note: 

-1B/RF Ryota Wakiya filed his option to be a domestic free agent. He was the only Lion to do so out of the eligible players for domestic and international free agency. Wakiya is most likely to return to the Yomiuri Giants and is a type C free agent with no compensation for Seibu if he signs elsewhere.


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