Cuban Despaigne to sign three-year deal with Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks

Cuban slugger Alfredo Despaigne will sign with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, club of the Japanese Baseball League (NPB), the Cuban Federation of that sport said.

Despaigne, leader of the Cuban team to the coming 4th World Baseball Classic, had previously announced he would sign this contract by the end of the Caribbean Series in Mexico, where his team, Granma, had a very good performance.

The SoftBank Hawks is one of the most important franchises in Japanese League due to its performance since it was founded in 1938. It boasts 17 league titles and seven crowns of the local Championship Series.

"I know I'm going to feel good between them. I have already become accustomed to Japanese baseball and they are a very prestigious squad, "Despaigne told JIT sports publication.

Granma´s clean-up hitter said goodbye to the Chiba Lotte Marines with BA of .280 (139 hits in 496 at-bats), with 24 homers and 92 RBIs in 134 games.

Champion with the Granma Alazanes in the last Cuban season, he previously played in the Mexican professional baseball with the Campeche Piratas in 2013 and 2014.

In his most recent season in the Japanese archipelago, the Caribbean player set some records, so several teams became very interested in him mainly because his contract with the Chiba Lotte Marines expired.