First baseman Luis Alfonso Garcia, who has led the Mexican Pacific League in homers the past three winters, is going to Japan. The 33-year-old Jalisco native was set to sign a one-year deal Tuesday with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Pacific League, with an option for 2012. The Sponichi website in Japan reports that Garcia is getting the nod from among five candidates for the Eagles, including ex-big leaguer Willy Mo Pena.
A former farmhand for six MLB organizations (including a .314/32/95 year in 2004 for Las Vegas of the PCL) who’s played in three Mexican League All-Star Games, Garcia has shone brightest playing winterball for the Hermosillo Naranjeros. The MexPac’s MVP for 2005-06 and 2009-10, he batted .301 last season for the Orangemen and led the LMP with 21 homers, 60 RBIs and a .602 slugging percentage.
The 6’4” Garcia hit .276 with 7 homers and 41 RBIs in 49 games for Monterrey in the Mexican League this year.