Guiel had some major-league offers on the table, but decided on Japan with his wife Lareina's support. They both enjoy travelling and when Lareina joins him in Tokyo with daughters Avery, 3, and Taliya, 1, she plans to bring their backpacks along.
"The (major-league offers) were decent but they weren't anything that was going to set up my family. Japan was," he said. "It was coming to the point where I had to take a chance.
"I'm looking forward to it."
Guiel will be making about $650,000 in salary plus a $250,000 signing bonus and the Swallows hold an option for 2008.
There are some players who are content to spend their time rattling around on the bench of MLB teams and then there are guys who just want to play (and get paid pretty well.) Guiel sounds like he has the right attitude for playing in Japan.
Recent major leaguers who have made the trip east and done well include Andy Sheets and Adam Riggs. Riggs and Guiel will be teammates.