Baseball: Slew of ex-Major League Baseball players sign on with Auckland Tuatara

The Auckland Tuatara have announced a string of new high profile signings for their next Australia Baseball League campaign.

The club has secured a group of five former Major League Baseball players, which includes outfielder Eric Young Jr, infielder Danny Valencia, and pitching trio Justin Grimm, Kyle Davies, and Zach Philips.

Young Jr is the most high profile of the acquisitions, having spent a decade in the big leagues, most prominently with the Colorado Rockies and the New York Mets, where he led the national league in stolen bases in 2013. 

The 35-year-old also had stints with the Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels, where he last played in 2018.

Valencia spent eight years in the MLB, last appearing for the Baltimore Orioles in 2018. The 35-year-old boasts a career batting average of .268 to go with 96 home runs.

Headlining the incoming pitching trio is Grimm, who spent the majority of his eight-year MLB career with the Chicago Cubs, where he won a World Series in 2016.

The right-handed reliever owns a 20-23 career MLB record with a 5.14 ERA and 367 career strike outs.

Davies has spent eight seasons in the Majors with the Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals and most recently, the New York Yankees, finishing with a 43-65 career win-loss record.

Mexico international Philips spent parts of four seasons in the majors, playing 2011-12 with the Baltimore Orioles, 2013 with the Miami Marlins and 2016 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The left-hander is capable of starting pitching out of the bullpen.

Together with newly signed ace Dylan Unsworth from the Perth Heat, the Tuatara's pitching stocks are now deeper than ever, helping account for the loss of Kyle Glogoski to the Adelaide Giants.

Next season, the Tuatara will play all of their games at home as hosts of the International Conference in the revamped ABL structure.

The season is expected to start in late December.