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Cuban outfielder Despaigne signs with Chiba Lotte

TOKYO Outfielder Alfredo Despaigne has signed with the Chiba Lotte Marines, the third Cuban to be contracted in Japan this year.

The team announced the signing on its website on Tuesday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 28-year-old Despaigne has hit 220 career home runs in the Cuban baseball league, and was MVP in the preliminary round of Pool A at the World Baseball Classic last year.

He follows into Nippon Professional Baseball this year Yulieski Gurriel with the Yokohama DeNa BayStars, and Frederich Cepeda of the Yomiuri Giants.

Lotte is fourth in the six-team Pacific League, 12 games behind the league-leading Softbank Hawks.

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