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Juan Francisco signs with Japanese team

Juan Francisco

Milwaukee Brewers’ Juan Francisco points to his muscle after hitting an RBI double during the fourth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Monday, March 3, 2014, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)


Juan Francisco, who opted out of a minor-league contract with the Rays rather than go to Triple-A, has now agreed to a deal with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan.

It’s a one-year deal reported to be worth around 140 million yen, which is equivalent to about $1.2 million.

Francisco has elite power, smacking 48 homers in 1,091 plate appearances as a big leaguer, but his extreme strikeout rates and inability to hit left-handed pitching limit his offensive upside and his poor defense further limits his all-around value.

At age 28 he’s a career .226 hitter with a .297 on-base percentage and .439 slugging percentage in 404 games for the Reds, Braves, Blue Jays, and Brewers.

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