Sánchez to Join Japan’s Rakuten Eagles

Gaby Sánchez is going international…

The 31-year-old Cuban American professional baseball player will join the Rakuten Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League for the 2015 season.

Gaby Sánchez

The former Pittsburgh Pirates infielder, who was not offered a contract by the team, has agreed to a one-year contract with the Eagles, the team announced Thursday on its website.

The deal is for an estimated $2.5 million with additional performance-based incentives.

Sánchez posted a .254 batting average with 61 home runs and 266 RBIs over seven seasons in Major League Baseball.

Prior to joining the Pirates in 2012, Sanchez spent four seasons with Miami Marlins, finishing fourth in the National League‘s rookie of the year balloting in 2010, when he drove in a career-high 85 runs for the Marlins.

Sánchez was a 15th round pick (460th overall) of the Seattle Mariners out of Brito Miami Private School in the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft, but chose to attend the University of Miami instead. He signed with the Marlins after they selected him in the 4th round (126th overall) three years later in 2005.

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