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Leonys Martin signs 1-year deal to play in Japan

TOKYO — Former Cleveland Indians outfielder Leonys Martin has signed a one-year deal with the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League.

Martin, who overcame a life-threatening bacterial infection last summer, was designated for assignment last month by the Indians. He was batting .199 with nine home runs and 19 RBIs in 65 games.

Cleveland acquired Martin from the Detroit Tigers at the trade deadline last season, but he played only six games before becoming ill and being hospitalized.

“It’s an honor to be given this chance by the Marines,” Martin said in a statement issued by the team. “I’ll do everything I can in order to be the best player and teammate that I can become.”

The 31-year-old Cuban player made his major league debut with the Texas Rangers in 2011 and also played for the Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs and Tigers.

Martin recorded more than 30 steals in the 2013 and 2014 seasons with the Rangers and hit a career-high 15 home runs with the Mariners in 2016.

In 770 major league games over nine seasons, he had a .244 batting average with 58 home runs, 228 RBIs and 126 stolen bases.

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