Ross Ohlendorf will be pitching for Yakult Swallows in Japan in 2017. Signs for guaranteed $1.6M with 400K in reachable incentives.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 27, 2016
Ross Ohlendorf, a whipping boy for many Cincinnati fans, will take his distinctive windup and pitching motion to Tokyo, Japan, where he’ll play for the Yakult Swallows in 2017. Looks like a great deal for Ohlendorf — up to $2 million, whereas it’s unlikely he would have been able to secure a major league deal in the states for next season (although it’s almost guaranteed that he would have been given a non-roster invitation to spring training for some team, possibly Cincinnati).
Ohlendorf is 34, and 2016 was his ninth season in the big leagues, having played for six teams. He posted a 5-7 record with a 4.66 ERA for the Reds, and also secured two of his three career saves.
You may remember that another former Cincinnati reliever — Logan Ondrusek — also pitched for the Yakult Swallows in 2015 and 2016. Ondrusek has since found a home in Baltimore’s bullpen.
The Nation wishes Ohlendorf nothing but the best of luck as he attempts to continue his career overseas. While the results on the field weren’t what anyone had hoped for, I’ll never forget that sweet, sweet windup and delivery that Ohlendorf brought to the Queen City. I’m sure they’ll love it in Tokyo, as well.
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at firstname.lastname@example.org.