Jose Lopez: Close to Signing Deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan

Gary OusdahlCorrespondent IIDecember 27, 2012

Jose Lopez looks like he may be playing in Japan in 2013.
Jose Lopez looks like he may be playing in Japan in 2013.Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Jon Heyman of recently announced that utility man Jose Lopez is close to signing a deal with the Japanese version of the New York Yankees—the Yomiuri Giants.

Lopez, who just recently turned 29, hit .246 last season with four home runs and 28 RBI in 236 at-bats between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox.  He mainly served as a utility backup playing mostly at third base, but he also spent time at first, second and the outfield.

Lopez, who broke into the major leagues in 2004 with the Seattle Mariners, hasn't been a full-time contributor since he left the Mariners in 2010.

He is a lifetime .262 hitter, with 92 home runs, 480 RBI, 421 runs scored and 1,005 hits in 3,841 career at-bats.  Lopez was also an All-Star for Seattle in 2006.

Having personally spent many years in Japan watching my fare share of live Yomiuri Giants games, I think that Lopez will have a successful experience in his new home.  The fields there are much shorter and turn warning-track power hitters in the States into home run hitting monsters in Japan.  

Lopez's deal is still pending a physical, which he just recently took in Houston.