These free agents should showcase their talents by pitching in the Japan All-Star Series
The 2018 season may be over, but lucky for us, we don't have to wait much longer to see some of our favorite MLB stars in action. The 2018 Japan All-Star Series will take place from November 8-15, and the roster of players heading to compete against teams from Nippon Professional Baseball is loaded with talent, including Ronald Acuna Jr. and Juan Soto.
The Japan All-Star Series is a great chance for MLB to showcase some of its best talent to another baseball-crazy market on the other side of the world. However, with the Hot Stove season under way, the Japan Series could also serve as a good opportunity for free agents to showcase their abilities to teams in a competitive atmosphere rather than on a quiet high school field in Florida. And with the pitchers' innings during the Series likely to be limited, a team could always use some additional arms.
So, why not turn the Japan All-Star Series in to the greatest free agent showcase we've ever seen?
Here are five pitchers we suggest should make the trip to Japan to showcase what they've got to offer:
Pitching in the Japan Series could help avoid the annual problem of everyone seemingly forgetting that Jackson can still be an effective pitcher. After being released by the Nationals in June, Jackson's successful second-half stint with Oakland tied Octavio Dotel's Major League record for most different teams played for in a career with 13 -- so we know he can fit in well with any new group of teammates, even a traveling mish-mosh of big leaguers.
It was a tough postseason for the 38-year-old veteran right-hander, and his struggles in October may make teams wary of his ability to perform on the big stage. But Madson can still throw pretty hard, and the Japan Series could be a great opportunity to jump right back into a competitive atmosphere and show the market that he can still get outs in the later innings with tens of thousands of screaming fans bearing down on him.
Colon may have gotten more attention this year for his epic charcoal commercial than his pitching, but that doesn't mean Big Sexy is done on the mound just yet. He has insisted that he wants to continue pitching in 2019, which would be his 22nd big league season. Why not have him showcase what he's still got left in the Japan Series against good competition? Plus, the last time Colon pitched in Japan, he threw 8 innings of one-run ball against the Mariners in the Opening Series in 2012:
The uber-pitching prospect turned outfielder has been out of baseball since 2013, but he announced recently that he wants to attempt a comeback as a relief pitcher. Now 39, Ankiel still feels his high-octane left arm can make an impact on the mound. Everyone is rooting for the former Cardinals phenom to make it back. Where better to throw himself into the competition than the Japan Series, where he can rediscover the feeling of pitching in front of a huge crowd?
Remember when everyone's favorite bearded closer announced he was attempting a comeback as a knuckleballer? Nothing ever seemed to come of Wilson's comeback campaign before the 2017 season, but this seems like the perfect chance to re-invigorate a potential return for The Beard to a Major League mound. His presence as a regular, hard-throwing reliever throughout his career was entertaining enough. Mix in a knuckleball, and the possibilities are endless. Get Wilson to Tokyo, ASAP.