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Shark crosses Pacific: Gerardo Parra joins Yomiuri Giants

UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 20, 2019

In this Oct. 15, 2019 photo, Washington Nationals’ Gerardo Parra hits a single during the sixth inning of Game 4 of the baseball National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, in Washington. Parra has agreed to a contract with the Central League champion Yomiuri Giants, the team said Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)
In this Oct. 15, 2019 photo, Washington Nationals’ Gerardo Parra hits a single during the sixth inning of Game 4 of the baseball National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, in Washington. Parra has agreed to a contract with the Central League champion Yomiuri Giants, the team said Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)
Associated Press

TOKYO – The “Baby Shark” is moving to Japan.

Outfielder Gerardo Parra has agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract with the Central League champion Yomiuri Giants.

As part of the agreement announced Tuesday, Parra can earn $500,000 in bonuses next year. The deal includes a $3 million option for 2021 that could become guaranteed.

A two-time Gold Glove winner and a backup on this year’s World Series champion Washington Nationals, the 32-year-old outfielder has a .276 batting average with 88 home runs and 522 RBIs over 11 major league seasons.

He became a fan favorite at Nationals Park this year for his “Baby Shark” walkup song, a tribute to the musical taste of his 2-year-old daughter Aaliyah. Fans and teammates made shark-inspired hand gestures after each hit, including pinching together an index finger and thumb after singles. Some players worked out wearing headbands with the image of a cartoon shark, and some fans attended games in shark costumes.

A native of Venezuela, Parra hit .250 with eight home runs and 42 RBIs in 89 games for the Nationals after spending the first 30 games of the 2019 season with the San Francisco Giants.

He started his big league career with Arizona in 2009 and also has played for Milwaukee, Baltimore and Colorado.

The Tokyo-based Giants are Japan’s oldest professional team and won the Central League pennant for the first time in five years before getting swept by Fukuoka in the Japan Series.

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