The Boston Red Sox have agreed to a minor league deal with RHP Shunsuke Watanabe of Japan. He will attend the team’s spring training and play the role of reliever, according to ESPN.
Watanabe, 37, has spent his entire 13-year career with the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league. Primarily a starter, he has a career record of 87-82 with a 3.65 ERA.
This past season Watanabe went 0-4 with a 4.62 ERA in six games, all starts, for Chiba Lotte.
Watanabe pitched on both of Japan’s World Baseball Classic championship teams in 2006 and 2009.
But that wasn’t the only move the Sox made on Tuesday.
In addition, the Red Sox agreed to release the contract of right-handed pitcher Chris Carpenterto the Yakult Swallows of the Nippon league in exchange for cash.
Carpenter, along with righty Aaron Kurcz, was part of the compensation the Red Sox received from the Cubs for allowing Theo Epstein out of his contract.
After both losing and gaining players this offseason, the World Series champions are looking to retain a championship-caliber team for next season.