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Indians sign Japanese outfielder Takuya Tsuchida

The Cleveland Indians have signed 18 year old Japanese outfielder Takuya Tsuchida, and reportedly have their eye on another 18 year old Japanese prospect, pitcher Shohei Otani.

David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

The Cleveland Indians have signed 18-year-old Japanese outfielder Takuya Tsuchida to a minor league contract, according to the Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes. Tsuchida is expected to join the team at spring training, and remain there for extended spring training. Tsuchida is a left-handed hitter and possesses good speed and athleticism. The terms of his deal have yet to be released, but the Indians had roughly $700,000 remaining in their international free agent budget for this season.

The Indians are also said to be in the hunt for pitcher Shohei Otani, another 18-year-old Japanese prospect. Otani reportedly doesn't want to pitch in Japan, and wants to come directly to America. However, he has already been drafted by a Japanese team, which complicates the process. The Indians would have to exceed their international free agent budget to sign Otani, which means they would be subject to a penalty from the league.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.