Gonzalez, 31, is the older brother of Padres star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. While the younger Gonzalez was the first player taken overall in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft by Florida, his older brother spent eight years in the Minors with several different organizations before making his big league debut with the Padres in 2008.
Gonzalez hit .216 in 82 games for San Diego in 2009, missing time with a concussion and a shoulder injury. In 2008, he hit .274 with seven homers and 33 RBIs in his rookie campaign.
According to an Associated Press report citing the team's Japanese Web site, Gonzalez said he's "very excited to play for a team with such a rich tradition."
Lisa Winston is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.