January 08, 2015

TOKYO (AP) Former Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Gaby Sanchez will join the Rakuten Eagles of Japan's Pacific League for the 2015 season.

Sanchez was not offered a contract by the Pirates and 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.

The 31-year-old Sanchez 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 in Miami, 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.

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