6-Year Veteran Reliever Signs In Japan

Following a year-and-a-half stint with the Arizona Diamondbacks, six-year major league veteran reliever, 29-year-old JB Wendelken has decided to take his talents to the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan.

MLB Insider Jon Heyman reports that Wendelken has a one-year deal with the Yokohama BayStars of the NPB. He can earn up to $3.05M, including incentives. 

Wendelken signed an $850,000 deal with the D-Backs this past season, but only appeared in 29 games, posting a 5.28 ERA with a 1.34 WHIP while seeing a huge dropoff in his strikeout rate, down to just 6.5 K/9 from a career mark of close to 9 K/9 coming into the year. 

The right-hander found great success with the Oakland A's from 2018 through 2020, maintaining an ERA of 2.30 over those three seasons, with a WHIP hovering around 1.00. 

In his 24 innings at the D-Backs' Triple-A affiliate this past season, he flashed that high upside, striking out 12.4 batters per nine, with an ERA of 2.62 and a WHIP of 0.83. He hopes that success will translate well to Japanese baseball.

Photo: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports