Baseball: Rays sign Japanese pitcher Uwasawa to minor league deal

The Tampa Bay Rays said Thursday they have signed Japanese pitcher Naoyuki Uwasawa to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training.

The announcement came on the last day of the 45-day negotiation period for the 29-year-old right-hander, who was posted by the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Uwasawa threw a Pacific League-leading 170 innings and had a 9-9 record with a 2.96 ERA in 24 games last year. Over nine seasons, all with the Fighters, he was 70-62 with a 3.19 ERA in 173 games.

Two other Japanese pitchers also used the posting system this offseason.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto signed a 12-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, while Shota Imanaga agreed to terms with the Chicago Cubs on a four-year contract.

© Kyodo News