The Yomiuri Giants announced Thursday they will send veteran left-hander Tetsuya Utsumi to the Seibu Lions in compensation for their recent acquisition of free agent catcher Ginjiro Sumitani.
The 36-year-old Utsumi joined the Giants from the Tokyo Gas corporate league team in 2004 and was named Opening Day starter for the first time in 2007. He led the Central League in wins in 2011 and 2012.
He contributed to Yomiuri’s Japan Series championship in 2009, and again in 2012, when he was named MVP for getting two wins against the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.
“These 15 years with the Giants are my best memories,” Utsumi said.
“I will put everything I’ve cultivated to good use with my new team, too, and do my best to begin anew.”
Giants president Kazuo Ishii said, “Utsumi is an ace who over the years served as a spiritual pillar for the team, and his transfer is extremely regrettable. I hope that he returns to the Giants someday.”
Utsumi went 5-5 with a 4.17 ERA in 15 games for the Giants this year, and has a career record of 133 wins and 101 losses with a 3.21 ERA.