Blue Jays: Yangervis Solarte signs with the Hanshin Tigers

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 17: Yangervis Solarte #26 of the Toronto Blue Jays fields a a ground ball hit by Trey Mancini #16 (not pictured) of the Baltimore Orioles in the fourth inning during a baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 17, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 17: Yangervis Solarte #26 of the Toronto Blue Jays fields a a ground ball hit by Trey Mancini #16 (not pictured) of the Baltimore Orioles in the fourth inning during a baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 17, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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Former Toronto Blue Jays infielder Yangervis Solarte has a signed a contract with the Hanshin Tigers of the Japan Western League.

Yangervis Solarte played 122 games with the Toronto Blue Jays last season hitting .226/.277/.378 with 17 home runs, however, the team opted not to tender the 32-year old a contract this offseason. Solarte spent time with the Giants and Marlins before being released by Miami on July 06th this past month.

The Blue Jays had acquired Solarte from the San Diego Padres in exchange for minor leaguers Jared Carkuff and Edward Olivares in January of 2018. Solarte will join former major leaguers Kosuke Fukudome, Jefry Marte, Efren Navarro and Rafael Dolis on the Tigers squad.

Solarte met with the Japanese media and explained how he reached the decision to join the Tigers:

"I heard that Hanshin is a really famous team, and I’ve been interested in playing in Japan for sveral years already. Last year the team made me an offer, so when they came back to me this year I was really excited to take this opporutnity. I hope to make the most of it."

After being non-tendered by the Blue Jays, Solarte inked a contract with the Giants only to play 28 games hitting a disappointing .205. San Francisco gave Solarte his walking papers on May 10th but he would not sign with Miami until June 13th.

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Solarte played 15 games for the Marlins Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans hitting .314 in 55 plate appearances. The native of Venezuela presumably requested his release from the Marlins to explore guaranteed money on the Pacific Rim.

The former Blue Jay played 670 MLB games over six seasons hitting .258/.315/.408 with 75 home runs and a career 6.2 WAR. The infielder earned $4.125 million in 2018 but the Jays were not prepared to commit that amount to Solarte again in 2019. No financial terms on this latest agreement have been released.

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Solarte has an infectious personality and a tendency to hit home runs in bunches so he should instantly become a fan favourite in Japan.