Outfielder Shogo Akiyama and relief pitcher Ian Krol have each triggered opt-out clauses in their minor league contracts with the Padres, reports Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune (on Twitter). The players’ respective transactions logs at MLB.com indicate both have been released, suggesting the Friars declined to add either to their MLB roster.
Akiyama signed a surprising three-year, $21MM free agent deal with the Reds over the 2019-20 offseason. That came on the heels of a nine-year run with the Seibu Lions of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, during which he hit .301/.376/.454 in just over 1200 games. The left-handed hitter tallied 183 plate appearances in each of his first two seasons in Cincinnati, but he didn’t hit the ball with much authority. Akiyama managed only 15 extra-base hits (14 doubles and a triple) and posted an overall .224/.320/.274 batting line.
The Reds released the 34-year-old in April after he’d been squeezed off the Opening Day roster. A few weeks later, Akiyama signed with San Diego. He wound up appearing in 16 games for their top affiliate in El Paso, hitting .343/.378/.529 with a trio of home runs in a hitter-friendly setting. However, Akiyama hasn’t played in two weeks — Sanders notes he’s been on the COVID-19 injured list — and he’ll now head back to the open market in search of a new opportunity.
Akiyama’s solid showing with the Chihuahuas seems likely to get him other minor league offers if he desires. Given his established, productive track record in Japan, he’d no doubt have NPB interest as well. Shortly after the Reds released him in April, reports out of Japan indicated the Lions were making an effort to bring Akiyama back.
Krol has appeared in parts of seven MLB seasons. He suited up at the highest level each year from 2013-18, then returned with 18 2/3 innings of 4.34 ERA ball for the Tigers last season. Krol had an excellent showing in the upper levels of the Detroit farm system, but this year’s stint in El Paso has not gone well.
Through 25 1/3 frames, the southpaw has a 7.46 ERA. He’s punched out a quality 27% of opponents, but he’s also walked batters at a 13.9% clip and given up six longballs. The 31-year-old heads back to the open market, although it’s possible that’ll be a brief stint. Sanders suggests Krol could pursue an opportunity in a foreign league.
So I guess that’s a no-go for Shogo in San Diego.
Like it says, some else will probably give him an opportunity. Probably Karol too, he’s left handed
He was making a joke. Ease up ⚾️
Going to for go, placing him on the four O.
Wonder if the Mets will be interested in Shogo Akiyama since Nick Plummer has struggled.
Must be pretty bad farm system when two garbage players are opting out of a minor league deal.
This has nothing to do with the farm. It’s all to do with no MLB opportunity available to them. With Shogo, Mazara has come up and performed well. With Krol, they would call up Castillo before him. Both would require 40 man moves.
Only reason Shogo signed a minor league contract was to reinvent himself, put up a good stat line then opt out so maybe he’ll get another chance making to the big leagues again
weird take Ole’ York, I would think just the opposite
Thank you! That was an odd post. Pitching in El Paso can’t be good for your health or psyche. Routine flies elsewhere leaving the park. Weather’s didn’t look great in his spot start, but I wonder if El Paso just screwed him up? Would like to see him get a chance to start every five days somewhere. Even Denver isn’t as bad as El Paso or Albuquerque.
Exactly. If it was total crap they would get more a change to get called. Hey KKrol, I here the Cubs are looking for a scrub that can get a couple outs.
Why would you come to that conclusion? Lots of players opt out of minor league deals. It’s so common I don’t even feel the need to point to examples.
Was hoping they’d give Shogo a chance to take Grisham’s job. Guess that won’t be happening.
Hey, can Sho pitch?
I would have to guess that, in spite hitting well in AAA, he probably wasn’t buying into the Padres’ system.
Their offense had been abysmal in the outfield until recently.
An old journeyman OFer probably shouldn’t buy into a roster spot on a team with Hassell Jr, Wood, Ruiz and Mears as high-end OF prospects. Not to mention Mazara and Profar killing it, one of Tatis or Abrams playing OF soon, and Beaty and Myers coming off IL end of month.
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Is Akiyama a capable Centerfielder? I’d imagine a few teams would be interested if he could play it even average.
Yes, he can play CF. His defense is pretty good. He just has problems with major league pitchers. He is a slap hitter who just doesn’t make a lot of contact. But he has good speed and can play solid defense.