It’s official: Rick van den Hurk is a Swallow

Last week you could read here about the Yakult Swallows chasing Dutch pitcher Rick van den Hurk to bolster their rotation. Today the news was released that the 35-year old was signed by the “other” team from Tokyo.

Rick van den Hurk in a SoftBank Hawks uniform

The Swallows signed Van den Hurk for 79 Million Yen, which comes close to $750,000. So with that amount, this can only be a 1-year contract. Also added are incentives.

The challenge for the Yakult Swallows is to rebuild their pitching staff. The team was dead last in the Central League for the second year in a row and had the worst defense rate of all twelve NPB teams.

Last season Rick van den Hurk didn’t play much because of an injury. But in the previous five years, the tall Dutchy earned 43 wins. He set an NPB record by winning 14 straight starts since his very first game with the SoftBank Hawks in 2015.

It remains to be seen when Rick can join the club since there is a strict ban on foreigners entering Japan. Currently Rick is staying in the Netherlands.

The Swallows have given Rick uniform number 15.

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