OSAKA - The Hanshin Tigers have reached an agreement to acquire former major league infielder Jefry Marte, the Central League club said Thursday.
Marte played for the Detroit Tigers as a rookie in 2015 before spending three years with the Los Angeles Angels, where he was a teammate of Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani this past season.
The 27-year-old Dominican Republic national bats and throws right. Standing 1.85 meters and weighing 100 kilograms, he has batted .222 with 30 home runs in his major league career.
Primarily a first baseman, Marte can also play third base or left field. In 194 at-bats this year for the Angels, he averaged .216 with 22 RBIs and seven home runs.
The signing of Marte follows a season in which another Dominican first baseman, Wilin Rosario, failed to deliver in his envisaged role as a power hitter for the Tigers. Rosario averaged .242 in 281 at-bats but hit just eight home runs.
“Every year, we’re looking for players who can hit and defend well. That’s the foundation for a first baseman,” Hanshin director Osamu Tanimoto said.