Oxspring on having his contract sold to Japan

Days after interviewing Chris Oxspring for a story on his development and excitement about returning to San Diego to compete for a roster spot, the Australian native was sold to Japan. Which begged the questions – what did it mean and did the right-hander have any say? We went back to the source to find out some answers.

It was a developing story that Chris Oxspring knew about during the initial conversation but had agreed to keep it private until the move was made official.

Dealing with a move to Japan from the United States required his knowledge, obviously, but was there any say he had in the matter?

"I had known about this ‘Japan' thing for quite some time," Oxspring admitted.

As mentioned previously, he held up his end of the bargain by remaining silent on the deal until it was made official.

The 28-year old right-hander made his major league debut in 2005 and seemed primed to hold down a spot in the bullpen with the Padres this year. He appeared in five games that spanned 12 innings and allowed five earned runs.

His stats with the Padres came on the heels of a 12-6 season with the Portland Beavers, the Triple-A affiliate of San Diego. He posted a 4.03 ERA which included three complete games and a 5-0 record in August.

Heading into the off-season, it appeared he had an inside track with the Padres.

Yet, the Padres talked to him about a possible move to Japan and it came to fruition, putting the kibosh on his return to San Diego.

"In regards to my feelings, they had and have changed so much since the end of the season, and even more so since this whole deal has come and gone," Oxspring explained. "In some way, in the back of my mind I thought that something like this might happen. But in the same token, I thought that I had proven myself enough to squash those thoughts and to move onto another big league spring training. As we both know now that isn't going to happen. Now that the dust has settled on it all, I am very happy with what is going on."

With all the hoopla, Oxspring has maintained his impressive regimen: running and biking to keep up his endurance, lifting to boost his strength and throwing to keep sharp.

Oxspring said he had a small say in how it was handled and he understands the business decision the Padres made. They parlayed a one-dollar investment into an extra $500K for their coffers.

At the same time, was it a slap in the face to the Australian?

"Good question, but not an easy one to answer," Oxspring began thoughtfully. "In a way you could look at it as a slap in the face. I must say that was my initial feelings on the matter. But when I sat back and looked at the whole picture I understood the position that the Padres were in. They could make a significant amount of money out of selling me to Japan, for a small amount of input. From a business standpoint, if you can make a large profit at any time you take it. When I looked at it from that standpoint I understood the frame of mind that the Padres had taken.

"Big profit versus Small output = Good Business Decision."

Oxspring is eager to begin his new career in Japan and looks forward to knowing he has a place at the highest level of competition possible within country.

The only thing that perturbs him is not related to the Padres but baseball in general. And it goes back to the days of old when baseball produced lifers – players that stayed with one team throughout their careers.

"One thing that I wish was different is the loyalty in baseball," Oxspring said. "There isn't any from either side. None from the player to the club and visa versa. I think that it should maybe somehow be different."

It wouldn't be a surprise to see Oxspring brought back to the States, ala Brian Sikorski – a recent signee by the Padres who spent five seasons in Japan.


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