Report: Reds sign Japanese outfielder to three-year deal

HIROSHIMA, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 13:  Outfielder Shogo Akiyama #55 of Japan hits an inside-the-park home run in the top of 8th inning during the game four between Japan and MLB All Stars at Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium Hiroshima on November 13, 2018 in Hiroshima, Japan.  (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)
HIROSHIMA, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 13: Outfielder Shogo Akiyama #55 of Japan hits an inside-the-park home run in the top of 8th inning during the game four between Japan and MLB All Stars at Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium Hiroshima on November 13, 2018 in Hiroshima, Japan. (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)

Credit: Kiyoshi Ota

Credit: Kiyoshi Ota

Cincinnati had never signed a player from Japan

The Cincinnati Reds on Monday agreed to terms on a three-year deal with Japanese outfielder Shogo Akiyama, accoring to NikkanSports.com.

Akiyama, 31, hit .301 with 20 home runs last season for Seibu. Akiyama has played his entire career in Japan.

FIRST REPORT

The Cincinnati Reds, the only team in Major League Baseball that has never had a player from Japan, have emerged as the top candidate to sign Japanese outfielder Shogo Akiyama, according to a report by NikkanSports.com.

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The Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays are the other teams trying to sign Akiyama, who announced in October he would file for international free agency with the goal of playing in the United States.

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Akiyama, 31, has played his entire career in Japan. He hit .301 with 116 home runs in nine seasons. Last season, he hit .301 with 20 home runs for Seibu.

The Reds have made headlines with two free-agent signings this offseason, adding infielder Mike Moustakas and starting pitcher Wade Miley.