• Kyodo

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Free agent outfielder Daikan Yoh will join the Yomiuri Giants, the Central League ballclub’s general manager Tatsuyoshi Tsutsumi said Wednesday.

Yoh is the third free agent to sign with the Giants this winter — the first time at least three players joined a single team in free agency during the same offseason under the current system, which was introduced in 1993.

“We were able to get a player who can play center field,” Tsutsumi said of Yoh, who declared free agency in the domestic market after 11 years with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. “I think he will be a positive addition to” the Giants.

Yoh also held negotiations with other teams, including the Orix Buffaloes.

The 29-year-old Taiwanese joined Nippon Ham in 2006 as a first-round draft pick out of high school in Japan and went on to lead the Pacific League in stolen bases in 2013 and won the Golden Glove Award four times.

This past season, he played in 130 games with a batting average of .293 and contributed to the Fighters’ winning the Japan Series against the Hiroshima Carp.

Yomiuri has already acquired free agent pitchers Shun Yamaguchi, formerly with the Yokohama BayStars, and Masahiko Morifuku, from the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.

In principle, a team is allowed to acquire only up to two free agents from other teams but Morifuku is not counted in this restriction as his salary at his old team was not ranked within the top 10, excluding foreign players.

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