Giants strike deal with Japanese infielder Kensuke Tanaka

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From John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle comes word that the Giants are “closing in on signing” Japanese second baseman Kensuke Tanaka to a minor league contract. The deal is expected to include an invitation to spring training, where Tanaka will be in the running for a utility job.

The 31-year-old batted .300/.350/.363 with three home runs, 14 doubles, three triples and 32 RBI in 505 plate appearances last season for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Japan’s Pacific League.

Tanaka also stole 13 bases in 22 attempts.

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UPDATE, 10:45 PM: Shea reports that the minor league contract has now been made official.