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Anthony Carter signs with Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters

There are conflicting reports of the ins-and-outs of it, but what is known is that right-handed reliever Anthony Carter is now a member of the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball, Japan's highest level of play. I first saw the news via a tweet by Corey Brock, which stated that the Padres sold his rights to the Fighters (contrary to the belief of some, the team is named the Fighters and are sponsored by Nippon Ham; they aren't some mythical samurai swine).

It seemed pretty cut-and-dry until I saw a tweet from Dennis Lin saying that Carter had been released by the Padres organization last Friday. I have no idea if this was the case, but it sounds like it might have been part of a handshake deal.

I did a bit of Googling, and found only a Japan Times blurb that didn't clear anything up. Then I checked the El Paso Chihuahuas' official site, and the last mention I could find of him was from ten days ago. Apparently he was sent to the short-season Eugene Emeralds in a shuffle move when Bobby LaFromboise rejoined the team. It's possible this deal was in the works and they just parked him there while they specifics got parsed. He never appeared in any games with Eugene, ending his tenure in the Padres organization with just three innings over three games with El Paso.

Either way, he was around and now he isn't. A minor-league free-agent signing by the Padres last November, Carter has a 37-37 record with a 4.59 ERA in nine seasons on the farm. He spent full seasons in AAA for both pairs of Sox since 2011, but has never received "the call". If all goes well in Japan, he might get another crack at his dream next spring.