The Yokohama BayStars have acquired a much-needed left-handed power hitter and a potential closer candidate in an attempt to break out of a prolonged slump.
One of the most active teams this offseason, the BayStars said Thursday they have signed former Nippon Ham Fighters outfielder Terrmel Sledge to a two-year contract and former Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Chris Bootcheck to a one-year deal.
Sledge, who led the Pacific League champion Fighters with 27 homers and 88 RBIs in 2009, will earn an annual salary of 180 million yen plus performance bonuses.
The 32-year-old hit a walk-off grand slam in Game 1 of the PL Climax Series second stage against the Rakuten Eagles and drove in a total of 12 runs in the postseason.
Bootcheck, meanwhile, was 0-0 with an 11.05 ERA in 13 games last season for the Pirates.
The 31-year-old has a 3-7 career record with one save and a 6.54 ERA in 90 games in the major leagues. He will make 50 million yen plus performance incentives.
Yokohama has signed new manager Takao Obana, former Lotte Marines right-hander Naoyuki Shimizu and free agent catcher Tasuku Hashimoto this offseason after finishing last in the Central League standings for the sixth time in eight seasons.