Former Dodger Luis Cruz is taking his talents to Japan [Updated]

Luis Cruz played in 61 games for the Dodgers and Yankees last season, batting only .145 with one home run and 11 RBIs.
(Harry How / Getty Images)

It’s Luis Cruz, international man of mystery.

Cruz, as you may recall, opened last season as the Dodgers starting third baseman. This was based on the most unexplainable six weeks in baseball history, when the career-minor leaguer became the injury-depleted Dodgers desperate third baseman late in the 2012 season and proceeded to hit .297 with six homers and 40 runs batted in in 283 at-bats.

It seemed too good to be true, and of course it was, but the Dodgers had little choice but to give him the starting job heading into the 2013 season. Then he hit .127 with .175 on-base and .169 slugging percentages.

By the end of June, the Dodgers had faced the music and designated him for assignment. No team claimed him, he became a free agent and signed with the Yankees, where he lasted about a month before he was released again.


Fear not, the native of Sonora, Mexico, has found yet another source of employment -- Japan’s Pacific League.

He signed with the Lotte Marines and got a decent price, too, receiving a one-year contract for $750,000; the major league minimum salary last season was $490,000.

[Updated at 9:50 a.m.: The signing report from Japan actually underestimated his contract. A source tells The Times’ Dylan Hernandez the deal was actually for $850,000 with another $150,000 in incentives.]

Cruz was a great guy, had a pretty good glove, and those strange six weeks aside, couldn’t hit a lick.

So good for him. Cruz, 29, has played for seven different major league organizations, and now in three different countries.