• Kyodo


Right-hander Spencer Patton has signed with the Yokohama BayStars, the Central League club announced Wednesday.

The 28-year-old Patton has pitched in 52 big league games over the past three seasons, including 16 this year for the Chicago Cubs. The reliever has a 3-2 record in the major leagues with a 6.26 ERA.

He spent half of this season at Triple-A Iowa, where he was a teammate of former Hanshin Tigers outfielder Matt Murton and utility infielder Munenori Kawasaki. In 35 appearances for Iowa, Patton saved 11 games, while striking out 59 and walking 15 over 36 innings.

BayStars bullpen ace Yasuaki Yamasaki said he isn’t ready to hand Patton the keys to the closer’s role at Yokohama Stadium.

“I held down this role last year and this year,” Yamasaki said at a baseball clinic for grade school players. “I don’t want to hand it over.”

The CL’s 2015 rookie of the year, the 24-year-old Yamasaki has saved 70 games in his two pro seasons, although his walks and runs-allowed totals doubled this year.

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