The Hanshin Tigers of the Nippon Professional League are close to signing former MLB players Jeremy Beasley and Sheldon Neuse, as well as former big league prospects Brian Keller and Johan Mieses, according to Yahoo Japan. Meanwhile, the Tigers have renewed former Tiger, Angel and Pirate Kyle Keller’s contract for around $1.5MM, and the deal contains an additional $300K in possible incentives.
Beasley, 27 tomorrow, was recently released by the Pirates, but last pitched in the majors for the Blue Jays. He had a 4.80 ERA in nine relief appearances spanning 15 innings, and owns a career 5.84 ERA across 24 2/3 innings for the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks in the past three seasons. He’s shown the ability to punch out major league hitters, striking out batters at a 29% clip, although that comes with a 12.3% walk rate.
Neuse was a second round pick for the Nationals back in 2016, but made his way to Oakland in the Sean Doolittle deal a year later. Across three seasons with the Athletics and Dodgers, Neuse owns a .212/.262/.296 batting line with seven home runs in 420 plate appearances. He’s primarily spent time at second and third base, but has also logged time at first base, shortstop and both corner outfield positions.
Brian Keller was drafted in the 39th round of the 2016 draft by the Yankees, and made it as high as Triple-A with them. He was claimed off waivers ahead of the past season by the Red Sox, and spent the last year at their Triple-A affiliate. There, Keller pitched 113 innings of 3.27 ERA ball, making 20 starts and 11 relief appearances. He struck out a little over a quarter of the batters he faced, but walked batters just over ten percent of the time.
Mieses, 27, has bounced around the minor leagues a bit, spending time with the Dodgers and Cardinals before joining the Red Sox in 2021. The outfielder spent the past year at Triple-A, slashing an impressive .271/.387/.537 with 12 home runs across 60 games. All of those appearances came in right field or as the DH, although he has appeared at the other two outfield spots in previous seasons.
Kyle Keller, 29, spent the past season with Hanshin after being released by the Pirates at the end of the 2021 season. He turned in a 2.72 ERA in 49 2/3 innings with 64 strikeouts and just 12 walks. He struggled during his time in the big leagues, pitching to a 5.83 ERA across 46 1/3 innings for the Marlins, Angels and Pirates, but he seems to have found success in Japan so it’s not surprising to see him stick around for another season.
Note: A prior version of this post incorrectly stated Keller’s salary as approximately $1.3MM. MLBTR regrets the error.