First baseman Efren Navarro has officially been released by the Cubs and reached an agreement with the Hanshin Tigers of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. The Tigers themselves announced the agreement.
Navarro, 32, was designated for assignment by the Cubs back in late May and cleared waivers. The Cubs organization placed Navarro on the temporarily inactive list in the minors while apparently hammering out compensation with the Tigers in exchange for granting Navarro his release and allowing him to make the jump to NPB.
A longtime Angels farmhand, Navarro has seen action in parts of six Major League seasons, appearing in 157 games and hitting .241/.304/.331 in a limited sample of 355 plate appearances. He’s a career .304/.371/.428 hitter in parts of eight Triple-A seasons, though, and had been enjoying a strong year there in 2018, hitting .310/.386/.440 with the Cubs’ top affiliate in Iowa. Navarro has struck out in just 15.8 percent of his career plate appearances in Triple-A and walked at a 9.7 percent clip, so he’ll bring a mix of plate discipline and on-base skills to his new club overseas.