Another former Major League Baseball pitcher has expressed an interest in joining New Zealand's first professional team.

Scott Richmond has confirmed there is mutual interest between himself and Baseball New Zealand in bringing him over for the Auckland-based team's debut in the Australian Baseball League.

Richmond became the first Kiwi citizen to play in the majors when he made his debut for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2008, making 36 appearances for the side across four years.

Now playing in the Italian league, Richmond told the Herald he was in talks with Baseball New Zealand to join the team.


"We'll just have to see what happens but it's not set in stone."

Richmond, 38, would not count towards the team's quota of imports as he holds a Kiwi passport, with his father being from New Zealand.

Baseball New Zealand chief executive Ryan Flynn said he wanted Richmond as one of the team's main Kiwis.

"I want him on the roster; he wants to be on the roster ... and if we can come to a contractual agreement, he is a lock," Flynn said.

Scott Richmond pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays for four seasons. Photo / Getty Images
Scott Richmond pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays for four seasons. Photo / Getty Images

If Richmond signs, he would be the second player with MLB experience, joining former Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves pitcher Josh Collmenter.

The signing of Collmenter was announced this month, with the 32-year-old one
of the new club's first two signings alongside New Zealand representative infielder Daniel Lamb-Hunt.

Like Collmenter, the prospect of getting in on the ground floor of the operation was a big drawcard for Richmond. He said securing a professional team was a massive step forward for the sport in New Zealand.

"Once you get those kids around these professional athletes ... all it can do is teach them how it's done properly. Nothing but positive things will happen."


Baseball New Zealand plans to hold an open day in the coming weeks to announce its confirmed participation in the league.

They are expected to reveal the team name, colour scheme and logo, as well as confirm members of the coaching and playing staff.

The eight-team league's 10-week season starts in November.