NEW YORK – The Seattle Mariners signed former Fukuoka Softbank Hawks first baseman Lee Dae-ho to a one-year minor league deal on Wednesday.
The South Korean batted .282 with 31 home runs and 98 RBIs in 141 games for the Hawks last year. He was the MVP in the Japan Series as the team claimed the title for the second straight season.
A two-time Triple Crown winner in the Korean Baseball Organization, Lee moved to the Orix Buffaloes in 2012 and spent two years with the Pacific League club before moving to the Hawks. He had a .293 batting average, 98 home runs and 348 RBIs during his four-year stint in Japan.
“Dae-ho gives us another potential right-handed power bat in the first-base competition,” Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “He has performed at a very high level of production in both Korea and Japan, and we are excited to see how that translates to our team.”
Lee will join starter Hisashi Iwakuma and new outfielder Norichika Aoki in Seattle. He will participate in a major league spring training camp as he vies for a regular position against another new signing Adam Lind, who has 166 big league home runs over 10 years.
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