Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Hanshin reach deal for former Angel Marte

Kyodo

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.