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Cascade native Colin Rea pursues baseball opportunity in Japan

Chicago Cubs pitcher Colin Rea throws against the Detroit Tigers in the ninth inning of a...
Chicago Cubs pitcher Colin Rea throws against the Detroit Tigers in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020. The Cubs won 9-3. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)(Paul Sancya | AP)
Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 11:39 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - 2020 was actually a season to remember for Cascade native Colin Rea. He pitched for the Chicago Cubs making nine appearances, including two starts. He finished with a 1-1 record along with a 5.79 ERA and 10 strikeouts.

It was the first time he had pitched in the major leagues since 2016 after dealing with injuries and being in the minor leagues.

“I always just believed that I would get back there, whether it was with the Cubs or another organization,” Rea said.

The Cubs signed him to a one-year deal in December, but then last week the team released him so he could pursue an opportunity in Japan with the Fukouka SoftBank Hawks. He said that it was an opportunity that’s been talked about for at least two years.

“Obviously I would’ve loved to have pitched for the Cubs,” Rea said. “It was a dream come true to pitch for them this past season and I would’ve loved to have stayed with them for the rest of my career... They (Fukouka) came to us and it was too good an opportunity to pass up, especially a team like SoftBank. If you look at the past 10 years, they’ve been pretty much dominant. I think they’ve won eight or nine championships.”

Spring training is expected to start in February. Rea is scheduled to leave for Japan at the end of January, but the pandemic could push back his arrival.

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