Red Sox Announce Hirokazu Sawamura Signing, Corresponding Roster Move

Sawamura could become an important piece of Boston's bullpen

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Hirokazu Sawamura officially is a member of the Boston Red Sox.

The team announced Tuesday that it has signed the Japanese pitcher to a two-year contract, which also includes a dual club/player option for the 2023 season.

The Red Sox designated left-handed pitcher Jeffrey Springs for assignment to make room for Sawamura on the 40-man roster.

Sawamura, who turns 33 on April 3, spent the last 10 years pitching in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball for the Yomiuri Giants (2011-20) and Chiba Lotte Marines (2020). The right-hander presumably will join Boston’s bullpen in 2021, giving manager Alex Cora an intriguing arm with which to work.

Sawamura posted a 2.77 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP and 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings in 352 career appearances (868 1/3 innings) in NPB. He also totaled 75 saves, 73 of which came during the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

Sawamura features a fastball that can touch the upper 90s, along with a a slider and a good-looking, low-90s splitter.

Terms of Sawamura’s contract were not disclosed, but The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Monday the deal is worth $3 million and could increase to as much as $7.65 million over three years if the hurler hits every performance bonus and escalator.

Thumbnail photo via YouTube screengrab

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