|ESPN.com: Baseball||[Print without images]|
The Chicago Cubs designated first baseman Bryan LaHair for assignment, the team announced Tuesday.
LaHair then reached a two-year, $4 million agreement with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan. The Cubs received $950,000 in the deal, a source told ESPN.
An unlikely 2012 All-Star in his first full season in the major leagues, LaHair, 30, batted .286 with 14 home runs and 30 RBIs before the All-Star break but fell to .202 with two home runs and 10 RBIs after it. He lost the first-base job to top prospect Anthony Rizzo in June and served as a bench player the rest of the season.
"I'm just taking all the positives out of this year, I'm not taking any negatives," LaHair said Oct. 3. "I got a chance to play early this year, and I did well. I played off the bench in the second half, and I thought I did well."
The Cubs also added four players to their 40-man roster Tuesday: right-handed pitcher Trey McNutt from Double-A Tennessee, infielder Christian Villanueva from Class A Daytona, infielder Logan Watkins from Tennessee and right-handed pitcher Robert Whitenack from Daytona.
The Cubs opened up a spot on the 40-man roster when they traded pitcher Jake Brigham back to the Texas Rangers for right-handed pitcher Barret Loux and a player to be named. Brigham was acquired from the Rangers for catcher Geovany Soto on July 31.
Loux, 23, was named the 2012 Double-A Texas League Pitcher of the Year after going 14-1 with a 3.47 ERA. He led the Texas League in wins.Information from ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney and ESPNChicago.com's Sahadev Sharma was used in this report.