Diamondbacks sign Japanese reliever Hirano

Sports Xchange

December 22, 2017 at 4:43 pm.

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Japanese reliever Yoshihisa Hirano agreed to a two-year, $6 million contract, the team announced Friday.

Hirano recorded 29 saves this past season for the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s Pacific League. The 33-year-old owns a 48-69 career mark with a 3.10 ERA in 549 appearances (68 starts).

“I am honored to be signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks. They have welcomed me and my family with open arms and made us feel at home already, which is the reason I chose to sign here,” Hirano said. “My family is looking forward to starting our new life together in Arizona. I believe the D-backs are a team that can win a championship, and I hope I can help them achieve that goal.”

Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen said that the team has kept tabs on Hirano for a long time.

“We have scouted Yoshihisa for years with the Orix Buffaloes, and are excited to add a reliever of his quality and with his experience to our bullpen,” Hazen said. “We look forward to welcoming him, his wife, Ai, and his two young children to Arizona.”

The Diamondbacks are in need of a closer after Fernando Rodney signed a one-year deal with the Minnesota Twins last week. Incumbent Archie Bradley and new acquisition Brad Boxberger are also expected to be in the mix for closing duties in Arizona.