The Boston Red Sox have a current and several former players overseas as a career change. Here is a look at those players and a few others.
If you don’t succeed in professional American baseball just give it a whirl and try overseas. Sometimes a sojourn to a distant baseball venue can result in a positive outcome. Case in point is the Red Sox Ryan Brasier who got his cup of coffee with the Angels in 2013 (seven games) and returned to the minors. Brasier hooked up with Hiroshima of the JPCL where he freshened up his game. The rest is now a pleasant surprise for Boston.
The Red Sox foreign adventures dot the baseball backwaters such as former elite prospect Lars Anderson who played with the Solingen Alligators of the Baseball Bundesliga in Germany. And just a mere 8,000 miles from Portland Maine and the SeaDogs (AA) to Melbourne and the Aces you will find Red Sox prospect Daniel McGrath.
You play for a championship team you get a ring – even if you play a small part and William Cuevas played a small part (0-2. 5.75) but can flash his shiny hardware to his new teammates with the KT Wiz of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO). The good news for Cuevas is the hitter-happy KBO can be a lifeline for a return stateside.
Hopefully, Cuevas will do better than former Red Sox lefty Felix Doubront. Doubront signed a hefty one million dollar deal with the Lotte Giants of the KBO and pitched three games before being released.
We think of international baseball in terms that show player delivery on a major league level. Japan, Korea, Dominican, Mexico, Venezuela – just to mention a few, but occasionally a surprise enters the picture. An unknown who simply shows up and in this case reality TV.
An Indian reality show called “The Million Dollar Arm” had an end result of Dinesh Patel – a 20-year-old right-hander – becoming the first Indian player signed to a professional contract. Patel was quickly followed by Rinku Singh – a lefty. Both played in the Pirates system with Singh playing from 2009-16.
The Red Sox roster in 2018 had some significant international diversity with Xander Bogaerts being from the baseball hotbed of Aruba. The Red Sox former hitting coach – Chili Davis – was from Jamaica. Hector Velazquez is a solid signing out of Mexico. The Mexican League has a long history of supplying talent to the majors.
Baseball’s growth on the international level provides opportunity – opportunity to resurrect a shattered career or to make some quite healthy paychecks. Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands are places where fans of MLB may be unaware of the leagues in each and the number of teams. Somewhere is a player now developing in a baseball backwater that may be a budding MLB star.
The Red Sox and MLB can fully comprehend the international possibilities and have taken a dramatic step of a regular season two-game series in London and against the Yankees. I am sure the British Baseball Federation will actively participate.
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