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Ex-MLB hitter Jose Pirela signs with KBO's Lions

This photo provided by the Samsung Lions of the Korea Baseball Organization shows Jose Pirela. (Samsung Lions)
This photo provided by the Samsung Lions of the Korea Baseball Organization shows Jose Pirela. (Samsung Lions)
The Samsung Lions of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said Wednesday they have signed former major league hitter Jose Pirela.

The team said the Venezuela-born Pirela signed a one-year deal worth up to $800,000, including a guaranteed salary of $500,000 and a signing bonus of $100,000. He can make up to $200,000 in incentives.

Making his MLB debut with the New York Yankees in 2014, the 31-year old went .257 with 17 homeruns and 82 RBIs in 302 big league games for the Yankees, San Diego Padres and the Philadelphia Phillies. He has played both in the outfield and at second base.

Last year, Pirela signed with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of the Japanese professional baseball league and hit .266, 11 homers and 34 RBIs in the 2020 season.

The KBO's Lions said Pirela's experience in Japan will help him adjust to the KBO as he did not lose any playing time during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As KBO teams can sign up to three foreign players, with a maximum of two pitchers, the Lions have filled up two slots, including ace David Buchanan, who decided to go with the South Korean club for one more season. (Yonhap)

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