Former Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves pitcher Josh Collmenter has been unveiled as one of the first two signings for the New Zealand entry in the Australian Baseball League.
As reported by the Herald early last month, Collmenter committed his immediate playing future to the Auckland-based franchise after spending seven years at the Major League level.
In 214 MLB games, he posted a career record of 38-35, with an earned run average of 3.64 and had two seasons in which he struck out 100 or more hitters.
Looking to continue his trade internationally after the 2017 MLB season, Collmenter was put in touch with Baseball New Zealand chief executive Ryan Flynn, initially signing on as a coach for a New Zealand youth team.
The two had talked about the possibility of a Kiwi team playing in the Australian league, which the Michigan native saw as a great opportunity to get in at the ground floor.
"To get in at the onset and start going forward from there just seemed like a really neat opportunity for me to not only to be able to travel over there and see that part of the world but also to continue to play and maybe be able to have some input in developing that team and maybe transitioning into a coaching role or something like that," he told the Herald.
He was joined by New Zealand Diamondblacks third baseman Daniel Lamb-Hunt as the first two signings for the side.
Lamb-Hunt has spent the past six seasons playing in the German Bundesliga after beginning his career in the Atlanta Braves system at the Minor League level.
The 31-year-old has previous ABL experience, having played three seasons with the Brisbane Bandits.
"It's going to be huge, firstly to have another chance at high-level ball, but also a chance for the family and friends to finally see what has taken me away all these years and see what I've been doing," Lamb-Hunt said.
The team were planning to hold an open day in the coming weeks to announce its confirmed participation in the league, where they will reveal the team name, colour scheme, logo as well as more members of the coaching and playing staff.