Robbie Erlin was once one of the Padres most prized prospects, having been drafted early in the third round in 2009 by the Rangers and dealt to San Diego in the Mike Adams deal. He finally reached the Majors with the Padres in 2013.
He hasn’t been able to really leave a mark at this level though. His best season was in 2018 as a swingman where he pitched to a 4.21 ERA in 39 games and 109 innings of work. In 2019, he posted a 5.37 ERA. He signed with the Pirates for 2020, who designated him for assignment on August 2nd. He was picked up on waivers by the NL East Champion Atlanta Braves who released him in September. His overall season production was an 8.10 ERA with five starts across 26 innings, yet he never received a losing decision.
It seems as if he was unable to latch onto a minor league deal for a second consecutive winter because he’s now signed with the NPB’s Nippon Ham Fighters, according to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic. Erlin has never pitched overseas previously.