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Monday, Nov. 26, 2012

Sato to join Marines after tryout


Takahiko "G.G." Sato looks set to resume his career in Japan with Chiba Lotte, the Pacific League team said Sunday after a successful tryout for new Marines manager Tsutomu Ito.

Sato has not played in Nippon Professional Baseball since he played 53 games in 2010, his final season with Seibu. This year, the 34-year-old played for Fortitudo Bologna in Italy's Serie A and batted .319 in 42 games.

During his time with Seibu, Sato hit 20-plus home runs in three consecutive seasons between 2007, under Ito, and 2009. Sato turned pro out of college when he signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies organization. Seibu drafted him as a catcher in 2003.

The Marines also tried out right-hander Hiroyuki Kobayashi, but decided against signing him.

The 34-year-old left Lotte after the 2010 season as a free agent. Kobayashi hoped to move to the major leagues, but received no contract offers and signed in Japan with Hanshin. He went just 1-5 in 42 games as a Tiger and did not pitch on the first team this year.

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