Mark Payton Signs With NPB’s Seibu Lions

The White Sox re-signed Mark Payton to a minor league deal earlier this month, but it appears he’ll instead play the 2023 season in Japan, having signed with the Seibu Lions, per an official announcement from the team.

Payton made just eight appearances for the White Sox in 2022, tallying 25 plate appearances and picking up three hits. In a far bigger sample size at Triple-A, Payton hit 25 home runs and put up a .293/.369/.539 line in 539 plate appearances.

The 31-year-old was drafted in the seventh round of the 2014 draft by the Yankees, but never made it to the big leagues with New York. Instead, his first opportunity in the majors would come with Cincinnati in 2020. Over two seasons with the Reds, Payton would hit .175/.250/.200 over 44 plate appearances.

While Payton’s never really had an extended opportunity in the big leagues, he has posted strong numbers in Triple-A, putting up a combined .296/.370/.515 over 1,853 plate appearances in six seasons in the top level of the minors.

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