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Rick VandenHurk plans to sign with a “foreign club”

Jan 5, 2013, 10:12 PM EDT

rick vandenhurk getty Getty Images

From the Pirates’ official Twitter account comes word that the team has asked for release waivers on right-hander Rick VandenHurk for “the purpose of allowing him to sign with a foreign club.” We would guess that it’s a team from either Korea or Japan.

VandenHurk posted a promising 2.92 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 19 starts and two relief appearances last season at Triple-A Indianapolis, fanning 113 batters and issuing only 35 walks in 123 1/3 innings. But the Pirates weren’t going to give him much of a chance this season and he probably got a decent offer — maybe close to $1 million — overseas.

The 27-year-old Netherlands native was signed by the Marlins as an amateur free agent in 2002. He’s made 50 major league appearances (35 starts, 15 in relief) to the tune of a 6.08 career ERA and 1.63 career WHIP.

  1. historiophiliac - Jan 6, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Toronto then?

    • proudlycanadian - Jan 6, 2013 at 7:56 AM

      Nice try, but as far as I am concerned there 29 foreign teams in MLB.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 6, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        Can you see Comerica from your house?

      • proudlycanadian - Jan 6, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        No, but one of my cousin’s has a beach front house at the bottom end of Lake Huron and can see the State of Michigan from her back yard.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 6, 2013 at 1:07 PM

        You mean “the promised land.” lol

      • proudlycanadian - Jan 6, 2013 at 1:31 PM

        Not sure what promises residents of Port Huron Michigan actually make. From our side of the border, it does not look like the promised land.

  2. tuberippin - Jan 6, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    Is there a Dutch baseball league?

    If so, he could be their Bert Blyleven.

    • blacksables - Jan 6, 2013 at 7:01 AM

      There’s an excellent Dutch baseball league. That’s why they were able to beat the Domincans twice in the last World Baseball Classic and advance to the second round.

      But he’s not going to get paid at the same level as he will somewhere else.

      • samu0034 - Jan 6, 2013 at 8:33 AM

        I think it’s probably more accurate to say that there is A Dutch baseball league. I bet 80% of people in Holland don’t even know that the league exists. There are 8 teams, they play a 42 game season. It’s probably the best league in Europe, so I’m not saying I could play for them, but good High School players in the US certainly could. Bert Blyleven (and I guess Vandenhurk) being the notable exception, a lot of the good Dutch players are from the Dutch protectorate countries in the Caribbean (e.g. Andruw Jones from Curacao).

      • cktai - Jan 6, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        Despite only having 8 teams, there is quite a big gap in talent in the Dutch baseball league, between players but also between teams. The regular season champions usually get a win% of over 75%, sometimes as high as 90%.

        In terms of players, Rob Cordemans, probably the best pitcher in the league, has a 108-20 record with a 1.05 ERA and 9.65 K/9*. He was a succesful college pitcher before returning to the Netherlands.

        Some of the best players in the league have played AAA (Gene Kingsale, Evert-Jan ‘t Hoen) or AA (Vince Rooi, Danny Rombley, Leon Boyd, Diego Markwell). the worst would probably struggle to keep up with Rookie leagues.

        The thing is that you cannot really play professional baseball here. Attendance in the biggest games is about 1000. You will get some financial compensation for playing, but not enough to go without a full-time job on the side.

      • cktai - Jan 6, 2013 at 3:14 PM

        *Stats are incomplete from 1999 to 2012. I could only find the win-loss records of 1999-2000, 2002-2003, and 2005-2012; the ER’s, K’s and IP for 2003, 2005-2012

  3. brazcubas - Jan 6, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    It’s a shame when players fail to live up to their name. Rick VandenHurk sounds as if he should be as dominant as Randy Johnson, but with C.C. Sabathia’s body type and John Kruk’s beard and mullet.

    • Old Gator - Jan 6, 2013 at 8:36 AM

      ….and a brain from a jar marked “Abbie Normal.”

  4. jwbiii - Jan 6, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    VandenHurk to Korea with the Samsung Lions.

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