NL West Notes: Balentien, Giants, Tanaka, D’Backs

Wladimir Balentien smashed his 56th home run for the Yakult Swallows on Sunday to break Sadaharu Oh's Japanese single-season record and some within the Giants organization have wondered if they could find a way to acquire him, writes Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.  There's one problem, however - Balentien signed a three-year deal with the Swallows before this season, which means he will not be a free agent until the end of 2015.  “He wants to come back.  That’s what he told me two or three weeks ago. His dream is to come back and play in the major leagues," said Giants hitting coach Hensley Meulens. “We’ve talked about him, but nobody knows how to go about it, to get out of the contract."  While the idea has been batted around, Schulman cautions that the  conversations have been theoretical and have not involved GM Brian Sabean.  Here's more out of the NL West..

  • The Dodgers have scouted Japanese right-handed pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, a source tells Mark Saxon of  Earlier today we learned that the rival Angels are also looking at the Rakuten Golden Eagles standout.
  • Diamondbacks left-hander Matt Reynolds learned that he'll require Tommy John surgery after his MRI was reviewed, according to Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona (via Twitter).  The 28-year-old, who posted a 1.98 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 30 relief outings this season, will probably go under the knife with Dr. James Andrews next week.
  • Keith Law of (Insider sub. req'd) runs down the players that have exceeded his expectations this season, highlighted by the MVP-caliber play of Diamondbacks standout Paul Goldschmidt.

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