Red Sox Sign Junichi Tazawa To 1-Year Deal
The Boston Red Sox have avoided arbitration with reliever Junichi Tazawa by agreeing to a 1-year deal.
The Red Sox have signed reliever Junichi Tazawa to a one-year contract worth $3.375 million, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.
Prior to Wednesday evening, there was much speculation as to whether or not the team and Tazawa would be able to come to an agreement. Reports showed that when arbitration figures were introduced, the Red Sox offered $2.7 million, while Tazawa sought $4.15 million. However, despite the $1.45 million difference, Red Sox management once again showned its ability to avoid arbitration.
After his controversial signing in 2008, Tazawa has pitched 249 innings for the team since his 2009 debut. In 2013, Tazawa pitched 71 innings, recording a 3.16 ERA, a career-high 72 strikeouts and topped off the season with a World Series ring. The following year, his ERA improved to 2.86 over 71 innings — a career best.
Tazawa’s 2013 and 2014 seasons have, in the minds of Red Sox fans, been forgotten in the wake of the 2015 season — the worst of his career. Tazawa finished this past year with a 4.14 ERA, and rounded out the season with 8.44 and 12.00 ERAs in August and September respectively.
That being said, Red Sox fans must not forget the early months of 2015. In his first eight appearances of the season, Tazawa gave up no runs in 7.3 innings pitched, and went on to finish April with a 1.69 ERA and May with a 1.59 ERA.
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On a revamped and reenergized Red Sox team, Tazawa has a role to play. As a member of a bullpen that now includes Craig Kimbrel, Tazawa will be have more of a cushion to relax and get back to being the pitcher that he has proven he can be.