• Kyodo


The Central League champion Tokyo Yakult Swallows announced Friday that they have agreed to contract terms with free agent outfielders Tomotaka Sakaguchi and Atsushi Ugumori.

The 31-year-old Sakaguchi, a light-hitting, four-time Golden Glove winner for the Orix Buffaloes, whose principle skill has been getting on base, struggled for playing time this past season.

He was offered a contract by Orix with a pay cut so large that under Nippon Professional Baseball rules, he could turn it down and opt for free agency.

Ugumori, 28, was an outstanding farm prospect five years ago but has never been able to be more than a substitute in the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters’ talented outfield. He was released after the season and attended a joint NPB tryout on Nov. 10.

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