Ex-Red Sox closer Uehara returns to Japan, signs with Yomiuri Giants


Former MLB closer Koji Uehara, who won a championship in 2013 with the Boston Red Sox, has returned to Japan and signed with the Yomiuri Giants.

The 42-year-old agreed to a one-year deal with his former club.

Uehara spent last season, his ninth in MLB, with the Chicago Cubs. He finished the season with a 3-4 record and a 3.98 ERA.

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Signed by the Baltimore Orioles in 2009, Uehara began his career as a No. 2 starter, but was transitioned to the bullpen in his second season.

In 2011, the Orioles traded Uehara to the Texas Rangers. He initially struggled in Texas, but found some consistency in his second season with the club.

In 2013, he joined the Red Sox on a one-year deal and found himself forced into the closer role after season-ending injuries to Andrew Bailey and Joel Hanrahan.

Uehara flourished in the role, going 4-1 with a 1.09 ERA and a 0.565 WHIP. He made 22 regular-season saves, but was even better in the playoffs -- earning seven saves and yielding zero runs in 10 appearances in the ALCS and World Series.

He spent two more years with the Red Sox, passing the 20-save mark in both seasons, before leaving for Chicago.

--Field Level Media

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