Brandon Allen Sold To Japan | The Process Report

Brandon Allen Sold To Japan

Continuing down the path of Rays’ legend Dan Johnson, Brandon Allen has been sold Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of Japan’s Central League. The Rays claimed Allen off waivers from the Oakland A’s in mid-April. In Johnson-style, he made an immediate impact with walk-offs (a walk and a home run) in his first two plate appearances.

Following a stint on the disabled list, and a lengthy rehab assignment, the out-of-option first baseman/outfielder was designated for assignment once again. This time he cleared waivers, and has been playing regularly for the Durham Bulls. This week, he was placed on the temporary inactive list, and now will collect paychecks in Japanese Yen.

In the case of Allen and the Rays, it appears to be right place, wrong time. On paper, a player with his skill set (power and plate discipline) and team control (pre-arbitration eligible) should have been a perfect fit for Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, his option status – along with established big leaguers at first base and the outfield – was not.

The case can be made that the Rays would have been better suited giving Allen the playing time that Hideki Matsui received. Or that the team should have kept Allen stayed in Triple-A for the rest of the season – or at least September – to maintain organizational depth and a future asset. I have no arguments against either of those scenarios; however, a trip to Japan could end up paying dividends for Allen.

Aside from presumably making more money as a Japanese big leaguer, Allen has a chance to re-establish his one promising career. A good showing in Japan could mean future opportunities in the majors that he may have not received with the Rays. And like Dan Johnson, maybe that future includes helping the Rays get to the playoffs in a season to be named later.



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