© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

12/24/08 12:08 PM EST

Mench signs with team in Japan

Former Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Mench signed a one-year deal with the Hanshin Tigers on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old Mench hit .243 in 51 games for Toronto last season. He has a career batting average of .269 with 89 homers and 330 RBI in 702 major league games with the Blue Jays, Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers.

Mench's contract is worth $1.8 million. He is expected to take the place of former Major Leaguer Lew Ford, who struggled last season with the Tigers in the Central League, hitting just three homers and batting .225 in 47 games.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.