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There’s been a whole lotta action in the Japanese baseball world, both in the Majors and Nippon Professional Baseball, in recent weeks, and Take 5 is stepping up to the plate to give you the lowdown, including a couple curveballs.

  • Two-way star Shohei Ohtani avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $8.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels this month. Despite showing flashes of brilliance in his first two seasons in the majors, he has only seen limited time on the mound after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The Angels called the deal one with “risk and reward to both sides” as Ohtani took part in his first official workout ahead of the 2021 MLB season.
  • The Boston Red Sox, meanwhile, nabbed its latest Japanese pitcher, reaching a two-year, $3 million agreement with free-agent reliever Hirokazu Sawamura. The 32-year-old became the latest Japanese pitcher to sign with Boston, following such big names as Daisuke Matsuzaka and Koji Uehara.
Shohei Ohtani will earn $3 million this season and $5.5 million in 2022 after signing a two-year contract with the Angels. | USA TODAY / VIA REUTERS
Shohei Ohtani will earn $3 million this season and $5.5 million in 2022 after signing a two-year contract with the Angels. | USA TODAY / VIA REUTERS

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