The Red Sox announced that they have signed Japanese right-hander Shunsuke Watanabe to a minor league contract. Boston also disclosed that they have released the contract of right-hander Chris Carpenter to the Yakult Swallows of the Nippon Professional Baseball league in exchange for cash.
Watanabe, 37, is a sidearmer who boasts one of the lowest deliveries in professional baseball. While his pitches top out around 70 MPH, his tricky delivery has frustrated hitters across 13 seasons with the NPB's Chiba Lotte Marines. For his career in Japan, Watanabe has posted a 3.65 ERA with 4.8 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9.
Carpenter, who came over in the Theo Epstein compensation deal with the Cubs along with fellow right-hander Aaron Kurcz, saw eight big league games with Boston in 2012 and spent the bulk of 2013 with the club's Triple-A affiliate.