The Oakland Athletics have landed a new shortstop, one who will be playing in the major leagues for the first time.
The team has reached agreement on a two-year, $6.5 million contract with Japanese free agent Hiroyuki Nakajima, according to major league sources.
Nakajima, 30, spent the past 11 seasons playing for the Seibu Lions in the Japanese Pacific League. He turned down multiple offers to remain in Japan, sources said.
The A’s turned to Nakajima after losing free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew, who reached agreement earlier Monday on a one-year, $9.5 million agreement with the Boston Red Sox.
Nakajima was a career .302 hitter with an .834 OPS in Japan. The New York Yankees targeted him last offseason but failed to sign him after winning his rights with a $2.5 million reported bid in the posting process.
As a free agent this offseason, Nakajima was under no restriction in choosing his next team.