Shannon Drayer

Mariners set to sign Korean slugger Dae-ho Lee

Dae-ho Lee, 33, has spent the past four seasons in Japan and hit a career-high 31 home runs in 2015. (AP)

The team has yet to comment but a baseball source confirms a report out of Korea that the Mariners have reached agreement with slugger Dae-ho Lee on a one-year contract. The belief is it is 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 RBI for Fukuoka last year. He was the MVP of the Japan Series, which the Hawks won over the Yakult Swallows. Prior to playing in Japan, Lee had an 11-year career in the Korea Baseball Organization.

A right-handed first-baseman/designated hitter, Lee is listed at 6 foot 4 and 285 pounds. Though he looks closer to 300 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 US, 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.


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