Former Cardinal John Gant to Sign with Nippon-Ham Fighters
As posted by Daily Sports in Japan, former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher John Gant is reportedly headed to the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of the Nippon Baseball League.
The Nippon-Ham Fighters is the team that Shohei Ohtani made his debut with at 18 years of age.
The deal is said to be a one-year deal.
The 29-year old, who had spent part of the past 5 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals was traded to the Minnesota Twins last season at the trade deadline for J.A. Happ.
Gant elected free agency after the Twins passed him through outright waivers at the end of the 2022 season.
It was a December trade in 2016 that brought John Gant, Chris Ellis & Luke Dykstra over from the Atlanta Braves for St. Louis pitcher Jaime Garcia.
Gant would spend most of the 2017 season in Memphis, with a 6-5 record and a 3.83 ERA over 18 starts. The following season he would begin the year in Memphis, but due to a Michael Wacha injury, secured a spot in the rotation. He had 19 starts for the Cardinals in 2018, going 7-6 with a 3.47 ERA.
The Cardinals moved Gant to the bullpen for the 2019 season, where he thrived in the first half of the season with a 2.22 ERA over 44 2/3 innings of work. He struggled during the second half with a 6.65 ERA in just 21 2/3 innings, bringing his season total to 3.66 ERA. He did accumulate an 11-1 W/L record, which led all MLB relievers in wins. Due to the second half struggles, he was left off of the 2019 NLDS roster.
In 2020, John had a 1.93 ERA before groin tightness put him on the IL where he he would finish the season.
And lastly, Gant started the 2021 season in the Cardinals rotation. In 14 starts for St. Louis, he went 4-6 with a 3.42 ERA, but had as many walks as he did strikeouts (56).
As mentioned above, St. Louis traded Gant to Minnesota where he would go 1-5, have a 5.61 ERA over 7 starts with the Twins.
We wish John all the best and hope to see him return to Major League Baseball at some point in the future.