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Archive for December 3rd, 2012

Vinny Rottino Signs with Orix Buffaloes, Will Play in Japan in 2013

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Vinny Rottino has found a new baseball home — in Japan.

According to this article written by Peter Jackel of the Racine Journal-Times, Rottino signed a contract with the Orix Buffaloes, a Japanese baseball team based in Osaka and Kobe, Japan, this past Friday.  He’s scheduled to meet with a representative of the Buffaloes on Wednesday, and will report to Spring Training on January 21, 2013, in Osaka.

Here’s a quote from the article:

Vinny Rottino’s ultimate reward for grinding out a professional baseball career the last 10 years just might be more than 6,000 miles away.

The latest — and most lucrative — in a long list of baseball destinations for the 1998 St. Catherine’s High School graduate is Japan. The 32-year-old Rottino signed a one-year contract Friday with the Orix Buffaloes, a Nippon Professional team in the Pacific League. The contract guarantees him $350,000 with the potential of another $100,000 in incentives.

Now what’s the most interesting thing to me in all of this was this following quote:

Rottino said he received offers from the Brewers, Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs after the season, but his decision to head overseas was easy.

“I heard it’s awesome in Japan,” Rottino said. “Everyone’s so polite and it’s got a lot to offer, from what I hear.”

Now, the fascination with Japanese baseball makes some sense here, especially from Rottino’s perspective.  Rottino steals bases, can gain an infield hit from time to time, plays good and steady defense, and can be relied upon to be professional at all times while still having fun.  These are qualities the Japanese league should appreciate.

And the parks, I’ve heard, are a bit smaller, too, so Rottino’s home run and doubles totals should go up (much less his RBI total).

So here I was, worried about where Rottino would go after the Indians DFA’d him, mostly because I was afraid no one would want him in MLB-land due to his age (32).  Yet he got four offers.

Including one from the Brewers (yay!).

Of course, as Greg Giesen of the Journal-Times just confirmed at Twitter right now (in answer to my question, “Was this about the money?”), there was a potential problem with these four offers:

@barbcaffrey Yes. His contract is for $350,000. The MLB offers were minor league deals with an chance to make the majors out of spring.

I told Giesen in reply:

@GregGiesenJT Then it makes perfect sense, Greg. I’d have taken the guaranteed money, too. Plus, his style of play may really fit in there.

At any rate, it’s great that Rottino has signed a guaranteed contract worth $350,000 (with another $100,000 in incentives, no less).  I wish him much success in Japan . . . and I hope that I’ll be able to figure out how to start translating Japanese baseball’s stat-lines, stat.

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 3, 2012 at 11:01 pm