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Albers heading to Japan

OTTAWA-Left handed pitcher Andrew Albers is taking his talents to Japan. The 32-year-old native of North Battleford, Saskatchewan was released from his contract by Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners allowing him to sign with the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).

After pitching for Canada at the 2017 World Baseball Classic in March, Albers was assigned to the Atlanta Braves Triple-A affiliate in Gwinnett where he went 12-3 over 26 appearances (17 starts) and pitched to a 2.61 ERA. The Seattle Mariners, in need of pitching, took notice of Albers' strong numbers and traded for the southpaw on August 11. In nine appearances, including six starts, with the Mariners, Albers went 5-1 and had an ERA of 3.51 as he spent the remainder of the season with the big league club.

Albers' next trip to Japan will be his second stint in an Asian professional baseball league after he spent the 2014 season with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).

A long-time member of the Senior National Team, Albers has represented Canada in international competition on seven occasions including helping the red and white to back-to-back Pan Am Games gold medals in 2011 and 2015, and pitching in the 2013 and 2017 World Baseball Classic events.

Albers will be in Toronto on January 13th, 2018 to attend the annual Baseball Canada National Teams Banquet and Fundraiser.