11 Jan 2009

Red Sox sign Japanese reliever

4:37 pm on 11 January 2009

The Boston Red Sox have signed Japanese reliever Takashi Saito from the Los Angeles Dodgers on a one-year deal.

The 38-year-old had been with last season's National League West champions for the past three years, but was not offered a new contract and became a free agent in December.

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein told the team's website Takashi's done an amazing job since coming over from Japan three years ago.

He says if you look at his performance and how he's gone about it the last three years, he's been just about as good as anyone in baseball.

The pitcher has 88 career saves and a 1.95 ERA in 180 games but is likely to be back-up to preferred closer Jonathan Papelbon.