Even though he has the right to do so, Wladimir Balentien didn’t use his free-agent rights yet. Apparently, he wants to talk with the club he has spent his entire NPB career with first.
Due to this move, the Yakult Swallows will have exclusive negotiation rights until the end of November. If both parties will not agree on a new contract by then, he will be taken off the protected list and he can talk with any NPB club he wants according to @NPB_Reddit.
Balentien comes off another 30+ home run season with a .280 batting average, his highest since 2014 when he hit .301.
The Softbank Hawks also have shown interest in the 35-year old slugger from Curaçao but the club from Fukuoka now needs to wait for a month to start negotiations with Coco.