Free agency in the JAL opened up today and already a significant signing has occurred. The West coast Waves and Taite Kleine have agreed to a $20 / 2-season contact.
"He brings a bat to the team that can be a big part of taking another stride forward and winning a title," said team owner Anthony Nusbaum earlier this afternoon when the deal was finalized. "I'm excited so see what he can do for us."
Kleine is a 7-season vet in the league. In his career he has been selected as an All-Star three times (JAL 1,7 &12), and won the Batting Crown once back in JAL 7.
In his 7-season career Kleine has never been able to find a true "home" with a franchise. Previously he's played for 4 other teams (underdogs, Bison, Express, Mafia) and has never stuck with any of them for more than 2 seasons. Now on the Waves perhaps that will change.
On the roster Kleine is listed as both a relief pitcher and backup fielder on defense. Offensively though, is obviously where he will add the biggest impact. Before today's signing, West coast was already a strong offensive team with Adam Clark, Anthony Nusbaum, Lane Traver, and most of all, Mason Klingberg. With Kleine and Klingberg now in the lineup together, the Waves have a deadly "deep ball" hitting team.