• Kyodo


The Boston Red Sox have reached an agreement with Japanese free-agent reliever Hirokazu Sawamura on a two-year, $3 million contract, U.S. media reported Monday.

The deal includes an option for a third year and provisions for bonuses, which could see the 32-year-old right-hander earn up to $7.65 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of sports news site The Athletic.

Sawamura finished last season with the Pacific League’s Lotte Marines following a trade from the Central League’s Yomiuri Giants.

He served as the Giants’ closer in 2015 and in 2016 — when he led the CL with 37 saves. However, he lost that job after he missed all of 2017.

In 22 games with the Marines last year, he was 0-2 with one save, and 13 holds. He struck out 29 batters in 21 innings, with a 1.71 ERA.

Over 352 career games, he has recorded 48 wins, 52 losses and 75 saves with a 2.77 ERA.

Sawamura is set to become the latest Japanese pitcher to sign with Boston, following such big names as Daisuke Matsuzaka and Koji Uehara.

The storied club has been overhauling its roster in a bid to regain its place among the major leagues’ elite, after finishing the shortened 2020 season bottom of the American League East with 24 wins and 36 losses.

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