Cardinals sign Japanese player So Taguchi

Wednesday, January 9th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(St. Louis-AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals have turned to Japan to help fill a vacancy in the outfield, signing So Taguchi to a three-year contract. Terms were not disclosed.

Taguchi becomes the third Japanese position player to go to the major leagues and the first in St. Louis.

Taguchi is 32 and spent ten seasons with the Orix BlueWave. He is considered one of the best-fielding outfielders in Japan, where he won five Golden Glove awards.

He hit .280 with eight home runs and 42 R-BI-s in 134 games last season, and is a lifetime .277 hitter with 67 homers and 404 R-B-Is.

The New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers were also interested in Taguchi, who is expected to compete for a starting job in left field.