Takashi Saito To Sign With Rakuten Golden Eagles

Veteran right-hander Takashi Saito has agreed to a one-year deal worth $350K (plus incentives) with the Rakuten Golden Eagles according to reports passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. Saito, who is represented by Nez Balelo at CAA Sports, is returning to his hometown of Sendai, where Rakuten plays its home games.

"We want him to perform well and become a symbol of Tohoku’s recovery, and we expect him to pass his Major League experience on to our young players," said Rakuten team president Yozo Tachibana according to Newman.

Saito, 42, allowed 14 runs in 12 innings with the Diamondbacks last season while battling calf and hamstring issues. Although he came over to MLB with little fanfare seven years ago, Saito almost immediately became a dominant reliever. In 338 MLB innings, he owns a 2.34 ERA with 10.7 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 with the Dodgers, Red Sox, Braves, Brewers, and D'Backs.

Rakuten has already signed both Casey McGehee and Andruw Jones this offseason. Saito spent 13 years with the Yokohama BayStars earlier in his career.

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