He may turn 44 this offseason, but right-hander Takashi Saito isn't hanging it up just yet. Saito has agreed to re-sign with the Rakuten Golden Eagles on a one-year, $600K contract, according to a Nikkan Sports report passed along by NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman (on Twitter).
Saito, a client of CAA's Nez Balelo, returned to NPB last season after jumping to Major League Baseball from 2006-12. The former Dodgers closer spent the 2012 campaign with Rakuten, pitching to a 2.36 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 26 2/3 innings and collecting four saves. He earned $350K (plus incentives) on last year's contract, so his strong performance earned him a raise for the 2014 campaign. Within the Nikkan report, Saito is quoted as saying he wants to be prepared to throw more innings in 2014 than he did in 2013.
Saito debuted in NPB as a 22-year-old back in 1992 and spent the bulk of his career in NPB as a member of the Yokohama Bay Stars. In 1,541 1/3 career NPB innings, he has a 3.77 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. Saito proved that he had the chops to succeed in MLB as well, compiling a sterling 2.34 ERA 400 strikeouts against just 108 walks in 338 innings for the Dodgers, Red Sox, Braves, D-Backs and Brewers. He has 84 MLB saves under his belt to go along with 52 in Japan (much of his career in NPB was spent as a starting pitcher).
Thanks to MLBTR's Aaron Steen for help on the Japanese translation.