SAPPORO – The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters have acquired right-hander Michael Tonkin on a two-year deal, the Pacific League club announced Monday.
The 27-year-old Tonkin has pitched in 141 major league games spread over five seasons with the Minnesota Twins. He is 3-3 with no saves and a 4.43 earned run average, but has struck out 149 batters in his 146⅓ career innings.
Tonkin’s contract is reportedly worth ¥120 million ($1 million) a year as the Fighters seek to replace hard-throwing right-hander Chris Martin, who did not re-sign with Nippon Ham after two seasons.
“His hard two-seam fastball is his strength and his strikeout rate stands out,” Fighters skipper Hideki Kuriyama said. “We expect he will give us some strength out of the bullpen late in games that we are winning.”