|Photo credit: Kyodo News|
Wolfe, 35, has spent six seasons in Japan already familiar with NPB. He was mostly remembered as a starter for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters and has a career record of 39-32 with a 3.22 earned run average.
In 2014 and 2015, he was buried in the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks ni-gun due to stronger pitchers in front of him. Wolfe is coming off elbow surgery and said in his press conference that he needed time off.
Overall, this is a signing that shows the Lions are pro-active in trying to find a solution to a woeful pitching staff. Van Hekken proved to be a disaster and the Lions are hoping Wolfe can eat some innings. Similar to Felipe Paulino, Wolfe will be expected to start in the rotation immediately and be a bridge to the bullpen.
This becomes a half-year audition for Wolfe to prove if he is on par to be a rotation pitcher or not. If he has a decent year, he will earn a contract for 2017 and be part of the Lions most likely.
As a result, the Lions have two pitchers with an audition type of contract being signed mid season. Paulino and Wolfe are immediate stop gaps and the team hopes to find possible contributors for next year by getting a head start.
An introductory video of Wolfe can be seen here:
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