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Batista to Play in Japan

From Associated Press

Third baseman Tony Batista will play in Japan next season after hitting 32 home runs and driving in 110 runs with the Montreal Expos last season.

The free agent said Sunday that the Fukuoka Hawks will pay him $15 million for two years -- a $5-million signing bonus in addition to $5 million in each of the next two seasons.

“The Japanese gave me a good offer, but it was also really the only offer that I got,” the two-time All-Star said.

Batista, 31, said he signed the deal last week in Miami. Fukuoka has not confirmed the deal although it was announced by Batista and his agents. The Dominican player said he will travel to Japan at the end of the month.

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Batista has a .251 average, 214 homers and 681 RBIs in nine major league seasons with several clubs.


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