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Mariners Sign Japanese Infielder Munenori Kawasaki

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik announced today the club has signed Japanese infielder Munenori Kawasaki to a minor league contract with an invite to Major League Spring Training.

“Being able to add a player with the resume that Kawasaki possesses is very good news for the Mariners,” Zduriencik said. “We are looking forward to having him compete for a Major League position in Spring Training. He is a high-energy player with a record of success in Japan.”

Kawasaki, 30, was an 8-time All-Star (2004-11) and a 2-time Golden Glove winner with Fukuoka in the Japan Pacific League. In 11 seasons in Japan he combined to bat .294 (1343x4573) with 631 runs scored, 65 triples and 262 stolen bases in 1,145 games.

Last season he batted .267 (161x603) in 144 games and helped lead the Softbank Hawks to their first Japan Series championship in eight years. He has recorded 20 or more steals in eight of the last nine seasons, including a league-leading 42 in 2004.

 

Kawasaki was also a two-time member of Japan’s gold medal winning World Baseball Classic squad, and was the starting shortstop for Japan in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

 

KAWASAKI’s PLAYING RECORD

 

YEAR     CLUB                         AVG        G       AB      R        H        TB      2B    3B     HR      RBI     SH      SF     HB       BB     SO     SB   CS   SLG     OBP

2001      FUKUOKA                  .000         1          4      1        0          0        0      0        0          1        0        0        0          1        0        0      0   .000     .200

2002      FUKUOKA                  .232       36      112    13      26        40        4      5        0          8        6        0        0          4      21        3      2   .357     .259

2003      FUKUOKA                  .294     133      493    78    145      186      17      9        2        51      28        2        4        41      74      30    16   .377     .352

2004      FUKUOKA                  .303     133      564    87    171      218      19      8        4        45      15        3        3        48      63      42    13   .387     .359

2005      FUKUOKA                  .271     102      399    53    108      138      12      3        4        36      22        3        8        26      52      21    10   .346     .326

2006      FUKUOKA                  .312     115      449    69    140      184      21      7        3        27      27        0        5        32      54      24      9   .410     .364

2007      FUKUOKA                  .329       95      383    57    126      164      12      7        4        43      10        1        4        29      46      23      9   .428     .381

2008      FUKUOKA                  .321       99      424    55    136      167      16      6        1        34        6        5        6        16      40      19      9   .394     .350

2009      FUKUOKA                  .259     143      540    73    140      194      26      8        4        34      43        3        7        47      90      44    16   .359     .325

2010      FUKUOKA                  .316     144      602    74    190      239      27      5        4        53      10        0        7        43      86      29    11   .397     .368

2011      FUKUOKA                  .267     144      603    71    161      197      19      7        1        37        9        4        3        36      84      27    10   .327     .310

Japan Totals                           .294   1145    4573  631  1343    1727    173    65      27      369    176      21      47      323    610    262  105   .378     .345

 

WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC

 

YEAR     CLUB                         AVG        G       AB      R        H        TB      2B    3B     HR      RBI     SH      SF     HB       BB     SO     SB   CS   SLG     OBP

2006      Japan                        .259         8        27      6        7        11        1      0        1          5        0        0        0          2        1        2      0   .407     .310

2009      Japan                        .429         5          7      3        3          3        0      0        0          1        0        0        0          0        0        1      0   .429     .429

WBC Totals                             .294       13        34      9      10        14        1      0        1          6        0        0        0          2        1        3      0   .412     .333

 

For more information, please contact the Seattle Mariners baseball information department at (206) 346-4000. More information on Seattle’s roster is also available online at www.mariners.com. All Mariners news releases, game notes, statistics and multimedia files are also available by visiting the Mariners Virtual Press Box at www.MarinersMedia.com.

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