Report: Smoak finalizing deal with Yomiuri Giants worth at least $6M

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Veteran first baseman Justin Smoak has elected to continue his career in Japan.

Smoak is finalizing a contract with the Yomiuri Giants - Japan's most iconic baseball team - worth around $6 million to $7 million in guaranteed salary, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan.

The 34-year-old switch-hitter spent most of last season with the Milwaukee Brewers on a $4-million deal, serving as their starting first baseman. He didn't live up to expectations in Milwaukee, slashing .186/.262/.381 with five homers and 15 RBIs over 33 games before being released in September. He was then picked up by the San Francisco Giants, where he went hitless in six plate appearances.

Smoak - a former top prospect who was selected 11th overall by the Texas Rangers in 2005 - leaves the majors having compiled a .229/.322/.419 slash line with 196 homers, 196 doubles, and 570 RBIs over 11 seasons with the Rangers, Brewers, Giants, Seattle Mariners, and Toronto Blue Jays. His most productive stretch came in Toronto, where he was an All-Star in 2017 and an integral part of the team's high-powered offense that made consecutive ALCS appearances in 2015 and 2016.

Smoak will bring his switch-hitting power to a Yomiuri team that won its record 38th Central League pennant this year before getting swept in the Japan Series by the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.

He's the latest big-league veteran to sign in Japan this winter, joining a list that also includes shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, outfielder Domingo Santana, and pitcher Fernando Romero.

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Report: Smoak finalizing deal with Yomiuri Giants worth at least $6M
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