Former Mariner Messenger joins Jojima at Hanshin

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NISHINOMIYA, Japan, Dec. 10 (21:13) Kyodo

Randy Messenger will be back with his former Seattle Mariners
battery mate Kenji Jojima as the Hanshin Tigers on Thursday announced
the acquisition of the right-handed reliever.

Messenger has signed a one-year, $600,000 deal with the Japanese
club after spending most of the 2009 season with Triple-A Tacoma and
going 0-1 with a 4.35 ERA in 12 games for the Mariners.

Senior Tigers official Shoji Numazawa revealed that Jojima
strongly recommended the front office to sign the 28-year-old

Hanshin signed Jojima to a four-year, 2 billion yen contract
this offseason after he opted out of the final two years of his
three-year deal with the Mariners.

''We hope Messenger will take the place of (Scott) Atchison as a
middle reliever,'' said Numazawa. Atchison left Hanshin last month
and joined the Boston Red Sox earlier this week.

He spent 2005-06 with the Florida Marlins before splitting the
2007 season between the Marlins and the San Francisco Giants. He
joined the Mariners in 2008.

Messenger said he had learned a lot from Jojima while playing in
the major leagues and is honored to form a battery with him again.

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