Lee Dae-ho to join Seattle Mariners

February 3, 2016
Lee Dae-ho

Lee Dae-ho

By Nam Hyun-woo

Korean free agent slugger Lee Dae-ho reportedly signed a deal with the Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Seattle Mariners, Wednesday (Korea Standard Time), ending his long-stalled wait for an MLB team this winter.

According to Min Hoon-ki, a writer and commentator covering the MLB and Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), the 33-year-old Korean agreed to a one-year, $4 million contract with the Mariners. Min reported that further details are not revealed.

Lee’s Korean agency, Montis Sports Management Group, did not confirm the report, but noted that “a statement will be released tomorrow (Thursday) and a press conference will be held shortly.”

Min said that Lee will undergo a physical on Thursday and will return home on Friday. Other than the Mariners, he had reportedly negotiated with the Houston Astros and the St. Louis Cardinals previously.

Lee, who is a first baseman/designated hitter, declared free agency at the end of last season with Japan’s Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks and has spent this offseason seeking an MLB team.

Last year, Lee had a career-high season in his four-year Nippon Professional Baseball stint, launching 31 home runs and posting 98 RBIs in 141 appearances. He was more productive in the Japan Series, batting .500 with two homeruns and eight RBIs to lead the Hawks to beat the Central League pennant-holders, the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. This earned Lee the honor of becoming the first Korean to be named MVP of the Japan Series.

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