When he was designated for assignment last night, the Cubs indicated that they were trying to find a place for Bryan LaHair in Japan. Since they’d already gone to the trouble of DFA’ing him, that essentially meant they’d already found a place for LaHair in Japan.
And, so it is, as, according to ESPNChicago contributor and podcast-mate Sahadev Sharma, LaHair is off to Japan to join the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, where he can start, rake, and make some coin. Because he still has plausible bench value in the big leagues, I’m assuming that the Cubs are doing this largely at LaHair’s request. Given his age (30) and service time (not arbitration-eligible until 2015), this may have been his last chance to translate his baseball abilities into life-changing money.
The Cubs picked up a little something for themselves in the process, a cash payment just shy of $1 million. Sounds like a win, win, win to me.
Assuming this goes through, best of luck to Bryan. Your 2012 All-Star appearance, your game-tying homer against the Cardinals, and your final day walk-off hit will remain nice memories for Cubs fans.