The Indians announced today that lefty Edwin Escobar has been released to pursue an opportunity with a Japanese organization. The specific team remains unreported. He had recently been designated for assignment, so there’s no impact on the team’s 40-man roster.
Escobar, 24, struggled to a 7.23 ERA in his 23 2/3 MLB innings in 2016, all of which came with the Diamondbacks. The Indians claimed him off waivers after the season ended, suggesting that major-league organizations are still intrigued by his arm despite those difficulties.
Escobar, who rated as a top-100 prospect leaguewide before the 2014 season, has largely underwhelmed since reaching the highest level of the minors that year. Over his 286 total Triple-A innings, he carries a 4.63 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9. Still, he’s certainly young enough to engineer a return to the top level of the game if he throws well in Japan.