According to Chris Kabout the future for Dutch national team players Wladimir Balentien and Tom de Blok could be in Japan. Balentien and his Yakult Swallows already have agreed on a new one-year contract for the 2017 season in Nippon Professional Baseball. The former Cincinnati Reds and Seattle Mariners outfielder in Major League Baseball became a free agent at the end of this year’s campaign. He is playing in Japan since 2011. In 2013 he set a new single-season home run record with 55.
Meanwhile De Blok has received an offer for a development contract with the Rakuten Golden Eagles after trying out this fall. This is similar to a minor league contract in the US and he would need to start his Japan career in the farm system of the Golden Eagles. The reliever had the opportunity to play for the Seattle Mariners in the minors, but decided to return to the Netherlands before throwing his first professional pitch. He played for L&D Amsterdam this year.