On the bright side, Brian Bannister has the mathematical chops to convert dollars to yen.
Bannister agreed to a deal with the Tokyo Giants today for the 2011 season with an option for 2012. Bannister was non-tendered in November and became a free agent. With the Royals, he’d compiled a 5.13 ERA over 629 innings.
There were some rumblings a team might take a shot at him as a swingman or emergency starter, but instead, Bannister’s heading to the land of the rising sun. At 29 years old and with no true dominant pitch, he may find it difficult to keep pitching much longer, which is a shame since he’s one of a growing class of players that openly embrace advanced statistics in their preparation.
Bannister had some great starts and some awful starts as a Royal and there were moments where it seemed like he might have been close to figuring things out. Instead he’s going to Japan. Personally, if he reads this, I wish him luck…and await his return the states where he’ll surely end up as a pitching coach somewhere down the line.