Though minimal in impact, there are often a handful of players that elect to continue their playing careers by accepting opportunities to play overseas. Two additional pitchers can now be added to the list, as left-hander Doug Slaten is heading to Korea while right-hander Manny Acosta will sign in Japan, according to reports.
Slaten has seen time over the past seven seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Washington Nationals, and Pittsburgh Pirates. He’s made 226 appearances, holding a career mark of 7-8 with a 3.52 ERA over 150.2 innings. With Pittsburgh this past season he did make 10 appearances, throwing just 13.1 innings in which he’d allow 4 runs on 9 hits with 8 walks. He’d spent most of the year with the team’s Triple-A affiliate, throwing 42.2 innings and pitching to a 2.11 ERA and 1.008 WHIP.
He’ll turn 33 before the 2013 season begins, but it would seem that Slaten’s best option for playing time was to go overseas despite the constant need for left-handed relievers in the Major Leagues. He’ll join the SK Wyverns in the Korea Baseball Organization, one of the better known teams in the league.
Acosta spent the 2012 season working out of the bullpen for the New York Mets, appearing in 45 games. He’d post a 1-3 record and 6.46 ERA over 47.1 innings, adding a 1.542 WHIP. He’s 13-13 with a 3.99 ERA in 248.0 innings for his career, spanning parts of the past six seasons with the Mets and Atlanta Braves. Acosta would have been arbitration eligible this winter but the Mets elected to non-tender him instead. He will join the Yomiuri Giants on Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League and will reportedly earn $1.65 Million on a one year deal.
Both players likely would have needed to settle for minor league deals had they not elected to head overseas.