Baseball: Slugging catcher Tomoya Mori set to join Orix

OSAKA (Kyodo) — The Japan Series champion Orix Buffaloes said Wednesday they have agreed to sign slugging free agent catcher Tomoya Mori, the 2019 Pacific League MVP with the Seibu Lions.

    The acquisition comes as the Buffaloes’ best hitter Masataka Yoshida intends to play in the major leagues next season while catcher Torai Fushimi is expected to move to the Nippon Ham Fighters.

    Orix plans to hold an introductory press conference for the 27-year-old Mori on Nov. 26 in Osaka.

    Mori, the Lions’ first-round pick in the 2013 Nippon Professional Baseball draft, led the Pacific League with a .329 batting average in his MVP-winning 2019 season.

    He hit .251 with eight home runs and 38 RBIs in 102 games this year for the third-place Lions.