Buffaloes target German to replace Baldiris

Kyodo

The Orix Buffaloes expressed an interest in acquiring versatile Esteban German on Friday as it became increasingly likely that they will not re-sign productive third baseman Aarom Baldiris.

According to team sources, the Pacific League club has offered Baldiris a multiyear deal, but had not received any response from the 30-year-old Venezuelan. Baldiris had four strong seasons for Orix after playing his first two seasons in Japan for the Central League’s Hanshin Tigers.

A career .274 hitter, Baldiris drove in a career-high 91 runs this year for the last-place Buffaloes, who will seek to replace him with Dominican speedster German.

The 35-year-old German appears ready to leave the Seibu Lions after stealing 40 or more bases in each of his first two seasons with the Saitama club. He has played mostly third base for Seibu but has spent time at second base and the outfield in 2012. On Wednesday, the Lions indicated that German, too, had not responded to their contract overtures.

“He (German) has been a threat, always hungry to take another base,” Buffaloes manager Hiroshi Moriwaki said. “We’d be grateful to have him.”