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Angels close to minor league deal with Japanese reliever Hiroyuki Kobayashi

Jan 31, 2013, 9:31 PM EDT

hiroyuki-kobayashi-japan

After considering a move over to MLB following the 2010 season, Japanese reliever Hiroyuki Kobayashi is finally headed stateside. According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the 34-year-old right-hander is close to a minor league deal with the Angels. The deal is expected an invite to spring training.

Kobayashi has a 3.53 ERA over 12 seasons in Japan. He was an effective starter for a long time prior to moving to the bullpen in 2010, when he saved 29 games for the Chiba Lotte Marines. He moved on to the Hanshin Tigers from there, posting a 3.00 ERA and 45/19 K/BB ratio over 39 innings in 2011. However, he didn’t throw a pitch in Nippon Professional Baseball last year.

Kobayashi was never regarded as a top talent in Japan and wasn’t offered a major league contract last time around, so the Angels are likely looking at him as minor league bullpen depth.

  1. shawnuel - Jan 31, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    What I want to know is this: How many hot dogs can he eat in one sitting?

  2. jwbiii - Jan 31, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    My name is Kobayashi. I work for Keyser Soze.

  3. mustbechris - Jan 31, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    kyle kendrick must be terrified

  4. monkeyhateclean - Jan 31, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Bad move, Angels. Everyone in Starfleet knows that Kobayashi is unwinnable.

    • bolweevils2 - Feb 1, 2013 at 10:27 AM

      Maybe he is going to cheat so he can win. (I don’t know if that would mean spitballs/scuffs or PEDs)

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