Veteran MLB 1B Justin Bour Agrees to Japan Move

Los Angeles Angels first baseman Justin Bour. Photo by Peter Joneleit/CSM/Shutterstock (10214939s)

After a six-season career in Major League Baseball, news broke over the weekend that first baseman Justin Bour is set to head to Japan to play for the Hanshin Tigers in the next stage of his career.

Bour, who established himself as the Miami Marlins’ starting first baseman from 2015 to 2018, will test the waters of Nippon Professional Baseball after a rough 2019 that had his Major League job prospects looking tenuous at best.

The 31-year-old first baseman signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels last season after being non-tendered by the Phillies, who acquired him in an August 2018 trade with Miami.

Bour disappointed in his only season in Anaheim, hitting a meager .172 in 52 games with a team that failed to meet expectations. He managed 8 home runs in those 52 games, but not much more.

A career .253 hitter with 92 home runs in 559 career games, Bour will look to get his career back on track with the Hanshin Tigers. There have been plenty of examples of players getting their careers back on track after a move to Japan, and Bour will look to be the next one to do so.

He is set to make his Tigers debut in March of 2020.