Patrick Kivlehan Signs With NPB’s Yakult Swallows

Infielder/outfielder Patrick Kivlehan has signed with the Yakult Swallows of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, tweets Jon Heyman of the New York Post. The well-traveled corner bat will be paid $600K and can boost that total via incentives. He’s represented by Pro Agents Inc. and Agency 1.

Kivlehan, 32, has seen action in parts of four big league seasons, most recently appearing in five games with the Padres in 2021. He also played with Team USA during last summer’s Olympics. A fourth-round pick by Seattle back in 2012, Kivlehan has bounced from the Mariners to the Padres, Reds, D-backs and, earlier this year, the White Sox, with whom he opened the season in Triple-A. He logged a career-high 105 games with the 2017 Reds but hit just .208/.304/.399 in 204 plate appearances. All told, he’s a .208/.308/.398 hitter in 250 big league plate appearances.

Tepid track record in the Majors aside, Kivlehan has a solid minor league track record, including a .263/.325/.488 batting line in more than 2200 plate appearances at the Triple-A level. He mashed 32 home runs between the Pirates and Blue Jays’ minor league systems in 2019, slugged 21 long balls in just 91 games with the Padres’ Triple-A club in 2021 and was 5-for-12 with a pair of homers in three games with the ChiSox’ top affiliate this year before this NPB opportunity presented itself.

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