The Saitama Seibu Lions of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball have re-signed infielder/outfielder Cory Spangenberg, as first reported by Sponichi in Japan. Spangenberg, a client of Jet Sports Management, spent the 2020 season with the Lions as well — his first year in NPB. The one-year contract guarantees Spangenberg $1.4MM and carries another $400K of available incentives, MLBTR has learned.
The 29-year-old Spangenberg was the No. 10 overall draft pick by the Padres back in 2011 and spent parts of five seasons with the Friars. From 2014-18, he appeared in 387 games and batted .258/.318/.391 through 1278 plate appearances in San Diego. He never quite settled in as an everyday player, topping out at 486 plate appearances in 2017, but Spangenberg was an oft-used utility player, logging significant time at second base, third base and in left field. He signed with the Brewers prior to the 2019 campaign but struggled in a small sample of 102 trips to the plate.
Spangenberg suited up for 111 games with the Lions and turned in a solid .268/.326/.482 batting line this past season. In 445 trips to the plate, Spangenberg connected on 26 doubles, eight triples and 15 long balls, adding a dozen steals in 14 tries while on the bases. He appeared in 75 games in the corner outfield and another 54 at the hot corner, and it’s likely that the Lions will use him in a similar infield/outfield role again in 2021.