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Cubs designate LaHair for assignment to pursue opportunity in Japan

The Chicago Cubs say they have designated first baseman Bryan LaHair for assignment because he and the club are pursuing an opportunity for him in Japan.

An All-Star last season, LaHair batted .259 with 16 home runs and 40 RBIs in 130 games. He originally signed with the Cubs as a minor league free agent in December 2009.

The Cubs made several other moves on Tuesday, acquiring right-handed pitching prospect Barret Loux and a player to be named from the Texas Rangers for right-hander Jake Brigham. They also assigned right-hander Carlos Gutierrez outright to Triple-A Iowa after he cleared waivers and selected the contracts of four players — right-hander Trey McNutt from Double-A Tennessee, infielder Christian Villanueva from Class-A Daytona, infielder Logan Watkins from Tennessee and right-hander Robert Whitenack from Daytona.