Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Tigers scoop up former Dragon lefty Onelki Garcia

Kyodo

The Hanshin Tigers have signed Cuban lefty Onelki Garcia, the Central League club announced Monday.

Garcia went 13-9 with a 2.99 ERA this year, his first in Japan, for the CL’s Chunichi Dragons. He became a free agent after failing to come to a new deal with the Nagoya-based club. Garcia’s one-year contract is reportedly worth $1.5 million (¥170 million).

“I feel extremely happy,” the 29-year-old said in a statement released by the Tigers. “I’m so looking forward to taking the mound at Koshien Stadium in front of a big crowd.”

Garcia is the second starting pitcher the Tigers have acquired over the winter since finishing last in the league for the first time in 17 years. They have also signed right-hander Yuki Nishi, who left the Pacific League’s Orix Buffaloes as a free agent.