Justin Bour signs with Japan’s Hanshin Tigers

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Free agent first baseman Justin Bour has a new team: the Hanshin Tigers of NPB.

Bour, who will turn 32 in May, spent 2019 with the Angels, playing in only 52 games and posting a line of .172/.259/.364 and hitting 8 homers in 170 plate appearances. He was better before that, of course, spending the 2018 season with the Marlins and Phillies, hitting an aggregate .227/.341/.404 with 20 home runs and 59 RBI in 501 plate appearances. His 2017 was even better, as he smacked 25 homers and posted a .902 OPS (143 OPS+) in 108 games for Miami.

As a corner platoon guy over 30 who is exposed against lefties who is coming off a bad year, it wouldn’t been a tall order for him to land a guaranteed deal for 2020 this winter. However it wouldn’t be hard to see him snapping back into form in Japan, so this is probably a good move for him.