The idea sounds far-fetched but not so much that the Giants have dismissed it altogether. Some within the organization have discussed the possibility of acquiring former Mariners prospect Wladimir Balentien who hit his 56th home run for the Yakult Swallows on Sunday to break Sadaharu Oh's venerated Japanese single-season record. The Giants have a great connection with Balentien. He is from Curacao and has known batting coach Hensley Meulens for years. Meulens managed the 29-year-old outfielder with the Netherlands in this year's World Baseball Classic and they text every day mostly small talk and encouragement. "He wants to come back" Meulens said. "That's what he told me two or three weeks ago. His dream is to come back and play in the major leagues." There is one hitch and it's a big one. Balentien signed a three-year contract with the Swallows before this season his third in Japan which means he will not be a free agent until the end of 2015. Aside from Tom Selleck in "Mr. Baseball" players are not traded between the major leagues and Japan. "We've talked about him but nobody knows how to go about it to get out of the contract" Meulens said. The conversations have been more theoretical and have not involved general manager Brian Sabean. Some arrangement with the Swallows would have to be made and they might not want him to go.
Giants ponder how to acquire Japan home-run king
San Francisco Chronicle | Sep 18