Luis Cruz, who followed up a surprisingly good 2012 season by hitting just .145 this year, has signed with the Lotte Marines in Japan.
After playing for the Dodgers and the Yankees this year Cruz will get a nice bump in salary to $750,000 in Japan, according to the Associated Press.
Before crashing to a .145 batting average in 2013 he hit .297 with a .753 OPS for the Dodgers in 2012, but the 30-year-old Cruz was unlikely to emerge as more than a utility man in America.
The Miami Marlins’ primary offseason goal thus far appears to be acquiring as much international bonus pool money as possible. Last week they traded their closer to the Nationals to get some. This morning they traded a couple of low-level prospects to the Astros to get more. Specifically, they traded lefty reliever Brayan de Paula and outfielder Adonis Giron to Houston for an unknown amount of slot money.
De Paula, 19, has pitched in the Dominican Summer League for the past two seasons while posting a 3.05 ERA and 57/16 K/BB ratio over 59 innings. Giron, 17, has one season of Dominican Summer League experience under his belt, where he hit .255/.331/.362 with three homers in 67 games.
The Marlins have made no secret of the fact that they’re after top international prospect Victor Victor Mesa and, possibly, his younger brother, Victor Mesa, Jr., which would explain the stockpiling of bonus money.