The current Japanese champion, the Softbank Hawks, are still interested in Dutch pitcher Rick van den Hurk. After the winner of the Nippon Series signed Daisuke Matsuzaka they are still looking to improve their rotation.
But the team from Fukuoka aren’t the only team in Japan that want him. The Yomiuri Giants from Tokyo are also interested. The question remains if there will be a bidding war.
The Hawks have taken their time to investigate Van den Hurk: Twenty-seven days.
According to sponichi.jp.co, a Japanese sportswebsite, the Hawks are prepared to pay 400 million Yen to sign Van den Hurk to a two-year contract. This is the equivalent of 2.7 million Euro and 3.3 million US Dollars.
Van den Hurk is 1.96 meter (6 ft 43) tall and his fastball measures 154 km/h (95.69 MPH). In Korea he clinched thirteen victories and lost four games in the 2014 campaign. He won the crowns for best ERA (3.18) and most Ks (180). He made his debut with the Florida Marlins in 2007. Since that year he has spent time at both MLB and MiLB. After the 2012 he signed a deal with his current club, the Samsung Lions from the KBO, so if the Hawks or Giants will sign him his has some experience in the Asian lifestyle. He represented the Netherlands in the 2009 World Baseball Classic but did not participate in the 2013 edition because he wanted to prepare himself for the new season with his new club; who can blame him? New adventure, new country.
No matter which club will sign him, a starting role in Japan would be a big step forward in his career.