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2 years in Boston, ‘6 wins and 13 holds’ Sawamura finishes major league challenge, goes to Japan, ‘Perfect Game’ Sasaki returns to Chiba Lotte

Hirokazu Sawamura (35), a right-handed pitcher from the Japan National Baseball Team, returns to Nippon Professional Baseball after completing his major league challenge. He wears the Chiba Lotte Marines uniform he played in just before moving to the major leagues. It was a decision I made after contemplating between staying in the US and going to Japan. It is a comeback after 3 years of moving to the Boston Red Sox in 2021 after obtaining FA (free agent) qualifications.

According to Japanese media, multiple major league and Japanese clubs jumped into the scouting battle. While signing negotiations were under way, Sawamura had been training individually with Yohei Kagiya (33), a teammate from the Yomiuri Giants days, in Okinawa.

It is the second U-turn for a Japanese Major League player this winter, following right-hander Kohei Arihara (31). Arihara, who played for the Texas Rangers last year, signed a three-year, 1.2 billion yen contract with the Softbank Hawks earlier this month.

It seems that we can see the combination of starter Sasaki Loki (21) and closer Sawamura who achieved a ‘perfect game’. Sawamura fills the vacancy of the top finisher Roberto Osuna. Oh Soo-na, who used to be the king of salvation in the major leagues, joined in the middle of the season last year and played a big role. Chiba Lotte wanted to renew the contract, but signed with Softbank.

Sawamura, who joined Yomiuri with the first pick in the draft, recorded 11 wins, 11 losses, an average ERA of 2.03, and 174 strikeouts in 2011, and won the Central League Rookie of the Year. He switched to a bullpen pitcher after posting double-digit wins three years in a row. He posted 36 saves in 2015 (7-3) and 37 saves in 2016 (6-4). He led the Central League in saves in 2016. 토토사이트

In September 2020, he was suddenly traded to Chiba Lotte. Sawamura, who was sluggish in Yomiuri, made a big success in a short period of time at Chiba Lotte. Sawamura signed a two-year, $3 million contract with Boston that winter. He turned down Chiba Lotte’s long-term contract offer and decided to challenge his major league.

He also showed his presence in the major leagues. In 104 games he played, he went 6-2 with 13 holds and an earned run average of 3.39. Last year, he pitched in 49 games, went 1-1 with 3 holds and posted a 3.73 ERA. Despite the evaluation that he was competitive as a bullpen pitcher, he recovered and decided to return to Japan.

Sawamura participated in the 2013 WBC and the 2015 Premier12 as Japan’s representative.

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