Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Tigers finalize deal with free agent pitcher Yuki Nishi

Kyodo

The Hanshin Tigers announced Friday they have acquired pitcher Yuki Nishi, who had declared free agency after his 10th season with the Orix Buffaloes.

The Central League club made the announcement after having their third meeting with the 28-year-old Nishi, who went 10-13 with a 3.60 ERA in 2018 when he was named Opening Day starter for the first time.

“I was in a lot of agony because I didn’t want to change my surroundings,” Nishi said. “It took a long time to decide and I had anxiety over it, but I’m relieved.

“I want to pitch as many innings as I can in order to contribute to the team’s success.”

In attendance was Akihiro Yano, who took over the skipper’s duties from Tomoaki Kanemoto after he refused to accept a contract extension to take responsibility for the team’s poor results this season.

Hanshin finished last in the Central League this past season for the first time in 17 years. The Tigers moved to acquire the right-hander seeking to add depth to their starting rotation.