Andruw Jones has reached an agreement with the Rakuten Golden Eagles on a one-year deal worth about $3.6 million to play in Japan, Nikkansports.com reported Friday.
If the report is accurate, Jones would become one of the biggest Major League Baseball stars to play in Japan.
Jones, 35, hit just .197 with 14 homers and 34 RBIs in 233 at-bats for the Yankees last season.
Jones won 10 straight Gold Gloves from 1998 through 2007, but his offensive production has dropped significantly over the past five seasons. He hit .158 with three homers in 75 games with the Dodgers in 2008, and he has not hit better than .247 or hit more than 19 homers in any season since.
– The Arizona Diamondbacks have reached an agreement with pitcher Brandon McCarthy on a two-year, $15.5 million contract, the Arizona Republic reported Friday.
The right-handed McCarthy, 29, was 8-6 with a 3.24 ERA for the Oakland A’s this past season.
– Ryan Ludwick has decided to accept a two-offer to re-sign with the Cincinnati Reds, CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reported Friday.
After a disappointing 2011 season, Ludick hit .275 with 26 homers in 125 games in 2012.
–The New York Yankees have agreed with outfielder Brett Gardner on a one-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration, the team announced Friday.
Financial terms were not available. Gardner, 29, earned $2.8 million in 2012.
Gardner played to just 16 games in 2012 because of a right elbow strain suffered in April that required arthroscopic surgery. He hit .323 in his limited action.
–The average salary of a Major League Baseball player rose to $3.2 million this year, an increase of 3.8 percent over 2011, according to figures released Friday by the Major League Baseball Players’ Association. It was the biggest increase since 2007, fueled in part by a rise in the minimum salary from $414,000 to $480,000.
The New York Yankees led the way with the highest average at $6.88 million. Next was the Los Angeles Dodgers at $5.55 million
At the bottom was the Houston Astros at $685,000, which was the lowest figure since the 2006 Florida Marlins.
–Outfielder Reed Johnson will be back with the Atlanta Braves next season after reaching agreement on a one-year, $1.75 million contract.
The deal includes a $1.6 million club option for 2014.
Johnson, 35, came to the Braves on July 30 from the Chicago Cubs. He hit .290 with three home runs and 20 RBI for the two teams and batted .419 as a pinch hitter.
–The Washington Nationals officially announced the signing of free-agent pitcher Dan Haren to a one-year, $13 million contract on Friday.
Haren, 32, was 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA for the Angels this past season, although he missed playing time with back and hip problems.
–Kyuji Fujikawa, who played for the Hanshin Tigers in Japan the past 12 seasons, officially joined the Chicago Cubs on Friday, agreeing to a two-year, $9.5 million contract.
The deal includes a signing bonus of $1 million and $4 million in salaries in 2013 and 2014, according to MLB.com.
He had 220 saves with Hanshin, but the Cubs say he will be used a set-up man for closer Carlos Marmol.