Mariners sign Korean slugger Dae-ho Lee to minor-league deal
The team has yet to comment but a baseball source confirms a report out of Korea that the Mariners have reached an agreement with slugger Dae-ho Lee on a one-year contract. The belief is that it’s a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training.
Lee, 33, has spent the past four seasons in Japan, where he hit .282/.368/.524/.892 with a career-high 31 home runs and 98 RBIs for Fukuoka last year. He was the MVP of the Japan Series, which Fukuoka won over the Yakult Swallows. Prior to playing in Japan, Lee had an 11-year career in the Korea Baseball Organization. Lee is from Busan, South Korea.
A right-handed first-baseman/designated hitter, Lee is listed at 6 feet 4 and 285 pounds. Although he looks closer to 300 pounds in a number of videos, including this one, he is said to have lost a significant amount of weight recently.
It would appear he is coming to camp to compete for the spot for the right-handed complement to Adam Lind in a platoon at first base. According to a report in The Korea Times, he is scheduled to take his physical on Thursday and an announcement is expected shortly after.
The Mariners most likely have had eyes on Lee recently as he has spent the past month working out in Arizona with his former Korean team. While he is known to have big offers on the table overseas, he has said his desire is to play in the Major Leagues. According to a couple of reports in the United States, Lee was said to be deciding between a National League team and and American League West team the past few days. It appears he has chosen the Mariners.