Ex-Fighter Tanaka agrees to minor-league deal with San Francisco

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PARADISE VALLEY, Arizona, Jan. 10 (13:13) Kyodo

Free-agent infielder Kensuke Tanaka and the World Series
champion San Francisco Giants have agreed on a minor-league deal with
an invitation to spring training, Kyodo News learned Thursday.

The 31-year-old Tanaka, a five-time Golden Glove-winning second
baseman, is a career .286 hitter in 13 years with the Pacific
League's Nippon Ham Fighters. Last season, he was limited to just 114
games after breaking his left elbow in August but still batted .300
with three homers and 137 hits.

Tanaka turned pro out of Higashi Fukuoka High School in 2000 as
the Fighters' No. 2 draft pick, helping the team to four pennants and
one Japan Series title. He was also named to the Best Nine five times.

Should the 1.76-meter, left-handed hitter make the Giants'
opening day roster, it remains to be seen what kind of role Tanaka
would play for manager Bruce Bochy. Last month, the team signed
second baseman and National League Championship Series MVP Marco
Scutaro to a three-year extension.

Tanaka played some third base early in his career.

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