Former Cleveland Guardians' slugger Franmil Reyes seems likely to go to play in Japan after not being able to find a fit in the majors with any clubs and spending 2023 mostly in the minors with the Nationals and Royals.
It was recently revealed by MLB Insider Héctor Gómez that he is working out for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks and the same team Trevor Bauer is on — the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of the NPB.
A video shows him hitting, and he could be a powerful slugger in Japan. Another MLB slugger who was unable to maintain an MLB slot was the Pirates' Gregory Polanco, and it seems they might play against each other once again.
Reyes spent six seasons in the Majors and acquired just over four years of service time. He was originally with the San Diego Padres but was traded to the Guardians in a three-team trade which included players like Trevor Bauer and Yasiel Puig.
He was later claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs. He then had to fight for a spot again and joined the Kansas City Royals before getting cut and ending up with the Washington Nationals before getting released for the final time on Aug. 11, 2023.
Franmil Reyes could have a breakout season in the NPB
Reyes played in nearly 550 games. In that time period, he showed his slugging potential when in 2019 he hit 37 home runs, and then in 2021, he slugged 30 home runs. In his career, he hit 108 home runs while batting .249.
After joining the Royals, they never really gave him a good shot and was very disappointing with an OPS+ of 42, meaning he was around 58 percent worse than the average player. He somewhat turned around his season in the minors with the Nationals, in which he hit five home runs and knocked in 19 RBIs in 34 games, but he never got a chance on the rebuilding Nationals.
It now seems his only hope to play professional baseball again is either in Japan or South Korea. But at the end of the day, he had a very successful career, and at just 28 years old, he could become one of the best sluggers in the NPB with the right coaching.