Skip to content

Wladimir Balentien, Lastings Milledge get multiyear deals in Japan

Dec 17, 2012, 8:04 PM EST

Lastings Milledge Getty Getty Images

For the longest time, it was unheard of for Japanese teams to sign its gaijin, or foreign-born players, to multiyear deals. That’s changed of late, though, and the Yakult Swallows have inked three of their imports to two- and three-year deals, MLB Trade Rumors reports.

According to Tim Dierkes, the Swallows have re-signed outfielder Wladmir Balentien to a three-year, $7.5 million contract, outfielder Lastings Milledge to a three-year, $4.4 million contract and reliever Tony Barnette to a two-year, $3.2 million contract.

Balentien hit .272/.386/.572 with a Central League-high 31 homers last year in his second season in Japan. Milledge hit .300/.379/.485 with 21 homers. The two were easily the Swallows’ best hitters; no one else on the squad managed an .800 OPS.

Barnette had 33 saves and a 1.82 ERA as the team’s closer.

While there probably weren’t any major league teams craving another shot at Milledge or Barnette, Balentien likely would have drawn some interest had he waited another year and chosen to return to the United States. The 28-year-old disappointed in his early major league stints, but he hardly embarrassed himself. After getting traded away from the Mariners and out of Safeco, he hit a respectable .264/.352/.427 in 110 at-bats for the Reds in 2009.

Latest Posts
  1. Giants’ training staff preparing an update on Marco Scutaro

    Dec 21, 2014, 9:55 PM EST

    Marco Scutaro Reuters Reuters

    Marco Scutaro’s 2014 season was tarnished by a chronic back ailment. The Giants’ training staff is preparing an update on the 39-year-old and it may not be good news.

  2. Rob Refsnyder, Jose Pirela to compete for Yankees’ second base job

    Dec 21, 2014, 8:50 PM EST

    Jose Pirela Jose Pirela

    If spring training were to start today, Yankees GM Brian Cashman would have Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela compete for the starting job at second base.

  3. The Padres have talked to the Phillies about Cole Hamels

    Dec 21, 2014, 5:47 PM EST

    cole hamels getty Getty Images

    It makes a lot of sense. And now, it seems, the clubs themselves are starting to talk about it.

  4. Why is John Smoltz a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame?

    Dec 21, 2014, 4:17 PM EST

    (FILES) This 25 August, 2002, file photo

    Is Smoltz really so different than Curt Schilling and Mike Mussina?

  5. Giants, Red Sox still in the picture for James Shields

    Dec 21, 2014, 2:50 PM EST

    james shields getty Getty Images

    The field for James Shields has been winnowed down to a few, namely the Giants and Red Sox.

  6. Justin Upton open to signing a contract extension with the Padres before spring training

    Dec 21, 2014, 1:35 PM EST

    Justin Upton Justin Upton

    If the Padres want to keep Justin Upton around beyond 2015, they’ll have to hammer out a contract extension before spring training begins.

  7. Scott Boras: Matt Wieters will be ready for Opening Day

    Dec 21, 2014, 12:27 PM EST

    Matt Wieters AP

    Scott Boras says the Orioles should expect to have Matt Wieters behind the plate when the 2015 regular season opens on April 6.

  8. Padres GM A.J. Preller discusses the offseason

    Dec 21, 2014, 10:55 AM EST

    preller ap AP

    A.J. Preller, the second-youngest general manager in Major League Baseball, joined MLB Network this weekend to discuss the Padres’ incredibly active offseason …

  9. Video: Matt Kemp and San Diego’s “rockstar GM”

    Dec 21, 2014, 9:11 AM EST

    matt kemp dodgers getty Getty Images

    Matt Kemp was introduced to the San Diego media on Saturday at Petco Park …

  10. Rangers showing interest in Brandon Beachy

    Dec 20, 2014, 10:45 PM EST

    Brandon Beachy Brandon Beachy

    Bounce-back candidate Brandon Beachy has drawn interest from the Rangers lately.

  11. Josh Lindblom signs with the Lotte Giants in Korea

    Dec 20, 2014, 9:40 PM EST

    Josh Lindblom Josh Lindblom

    Josh Lindblom is taking his talents to the Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization.

  12. Angels sign Cuban infielder Roberto Baldoquin

    Dec 20, 2014, 7:35 PM EST

    angels logo

    The deal between Cuban infielder Roberto Baldoquin and the Angels became official on Saturday after the 20-year-old passed his physical.

  13. Brian Sabean doesn’t plan to talk to Max Scherzer

    Dec 20, 2014, 7:10 PM EST

    Max Scherzer Getty Getty Images

    The Giants reportedly have no plans to attempt to initiate contract talk with free agent Max Scherzer.

  14. Nick Hundley reportedly has a two-year offer

    Dec 20, 2014, 6:05 PM EST

    Nick Hundley Nick Hundley

    An unnamed team has reportedly offered a two-year deal to Nick Hundley. It’s not the Orioles.

  15. Rangers lose a player to release waivers due to quirk in MLB rule

    Dec 20, 2014, 5:26 PM EST

    Ben Rowen Getty Getty Images

    MLB’s waiver rules are complicated enough for fans and those who cover baseball on a regular basis, but apparently they can even confuse teams sometimes.

  16. Report: The Phillies could be a suitor for Asdrubal Cabrera

    Dec 20, 2014, 4:06 PM EST

    Asdrubal Cabrera Getty Images

    The Phillies could eye Asdrubal Cabrera as a replacement for Jimmy Rollins.

  17. Indians sign Scott Downs

    Dec 20, 2014, 2:45 PM EST

    Scott Downs Getty Getty Images

    Downs had a 4.97 ERA over 55 appearances this past season between the White Sox and Royals.

Featured video

Cubs shore up rotation with Jon Lester
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. W. Myers (5199)
  2. M. Kemp (3582)
  3. J. Upton (2873)
  4. J. Kang (2869)
  5. W. Middlebrooks (2760)
  1. C. McGehee (2760)
  2. M. Morse (2440)
  3. A. Rios (2423)
  4. C. Headley (2233)
  5. J. Peavy (1959)