Former Boston reliever Hirokazu Sawamura is searching for one other alternative within the US over a return to Japan, in accordance with Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.

Sawamura pitched for a decade in Japan’s Nippon Skilled Baseball earlier than going stateside, signing for the Purple Sox on a two-year, $3MM deal. He’d compiled a 2.77 ERA throughout 868 1/3 NPB innings. Sawamura initially labored as a starter for Yomiuri however switched to the bullpen in 2015 and have become the workforce’s nearer. A shoulder damage noticed him miss the 2017 season, however he’d return as a high quality setup man earlier than his eventual transfer to the US in 2021.

When the Purple Sox landed Sawamura, 32 on the time, it was seen as an inexpensive pact with a good bit of upside if he may excel within the transition to MLB. Whereas he by no means blossomed right into a dominant reduction arm, he did give the Sox some invaluable center reduction innings. In 2021, Sawamura tossed 53 innings of three.06 ERA ball, placing out batters at a powerful 26.2% clip and strolling them at a below-average 13.7% price.

2022 began properly for Sawamura, as he held a 2.48 ERA on July 23. Issues went downhill shortly although, and over the following month Sawamura would work to a 5.40 ERA earlier than the Purple Sox opted to designate him for task in late August. All instructed, Sawamura owned a 3.39 ERA over 103 2/3 innings for Boston. Given his inexpensive wage that mark would make the DFA somewhat shocking, however there have been some troubling indicators beneath the floor, and Sawamura had seen his strikeout price dip and his HardHit% soar in direction of the tip of his time with the Purple Sox.

There additionally might have been some monetary motivation to the DFA. There was a membership and participant possibility in place for 2023 with the worth of these choices rising primarily based on efficiency. Sawamura had a participant possibility of $1.9MM on the time of the DFA, whereas the membership possibility sat at $3.7MM. The participant possibility would have elevated to $2MM along with his fiftieth look, however the Sox DFA’d him after his forty ninth look. Boston would outright Sawamura to Triple-A, however he’d ask for a launch from the workforce ten days later to pursue different alternatives. The Purple Sox granted that launch, and Sawamura obtained a $1MM buyout on the 2023 possibility.

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