The Yokohama DeNA BayStars have signed right-hander Brooks Kriske. (Hat tip to Sung Min Kim.) When Kriske was released by the Orioles last week, it was reported that he may have been pursuing an opportunity with a foreign club.
It’s quite common for players on the fringes of a 40-man roster to head overseas, as such opportunities can often lead to earning more than they would bouncing between the minors and the big leagues or hitting the waiver wire. A successful showing in Japan can also lead to an MLB contract in the future, as evidenced by the recent signing of Nick Martinez, who spent the past four seasons pitching in Japan but has now agreed to a four-year deal with the Padres. The ongoing lockout could also play a factor, as a player in Kriske’s shoes might prefer the certainty of having a job pinned down for 2022, as opposed to waiting for a new CBA to be signed and then scrambling to find a job in the new year.
Kriske, 27, has spent most of his career with the Yankees thus far, being drafted by them in 2016. He cracked the big leagues in 2020 but only got to throw 3 2/3 innings. He logged another 7 2/3 innings for the Yanks in 2021 before being claimed on waivers by the Orioles in September. His big league ERA is a bloated 14.40 so far, but in a small sample size of just 15 total innings. His minor league numbers are much more appealing, however. In 2021, he threw 29 1/3 Triple-A innings with an ERA of 3.68. Though his walk rate was a bit high at 12.2%, his strikeout rate was an excellent 37.4%.