The Seibu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball have signed infielder Cory Spangenberg and left-hander Sean Nolin, as per a team announcement (hat tip to NPBTracker’s Patrick Newman).
Spangenberg elected free agency after being outrighted off the Brewers’ 40-man roster at the end of the season, and he’ll now look to become the latest player to pursue an opportunity in Japanese baseball rather than vie for a minor league deal in North America. Never a big performer at the plate over his six MLB seasons with the Padres and Brewers, Spangenberg hit only .232/.277/.358 over 102 PA last season and provided little more than defensive cover at second base, third base, shortstop, and left field. Spangenberg has a healthy .301/.362/.433 slash line over 2350 minor league plate appearances, but he didn’t hit much (.704 OPS) over 1380 PA at the big league level.
Nolin was also a touted prospect early in his career, and is perhaps best known as one of the four youngsters sent by the Blue Jays to the Athletics for Josh Donaldson back in the 2014-15 offseason. His Major League resume consists of just 31 1/3 total innings from 2013-15, however, as injuries have plagued Nolin’s career, including a Tommy John surgery that sidelined him for the entire 2017 season. Nolin has spent the last two seasons pitching in independent ball, the Mexican Winter Pro League, and in the minors with the White Sox, Mariners, and Rockies farm systems.