The Tigers announced today that the contract of first baseman/DH Dean Green has been sold to the Yakult Swallows of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. Presumably, Green has negotiated a salary with his new organization for the 2017 season.
Green, 27, is a former 11th-round draft pick who has played in the upper minors in Detroit’s system over the last several seasons. He has not yet reached the majors, and would again have been eligible for the Rule 5 draft had he not been moved to Japan. In all likelihood, though, his major league prospects weren’t great. He has spent most of his time in the minors serving as a DH, and has never played any position in the field other than first base.
Still, there’s a lot to like about Green’s bat. He mashed at Double-A (as he had over the prior two seasons) and kept things up following a call-up to Triple-A last year, posting a cumulative .296/.356/.500 batting line with 23 home runs over 534 plate appearances.