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Japanese reliever Hirano and Diamondbacks reach 2-year deal

The 33-year-old is looked at by Arizona to provide bullpen depth and possibly compete to be the team’s closer

Yoshihisa Hirano.

Yoshihisa Hirano. | AP

Japanese right-hander Yoshihisa Hirano and the Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a $6 million, two-year contract.

The 33-year-old is looked at by Arizona to provide bullpen depth and possibly compete to be the team’s closer. His deal was announced Friday.

Hirano spent 12 seasons with the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s Pacific League, including the last eight as a reliever. Since 2010, he's appeared in 476 games and recorded 156 saves with a 2.30 ERA and 564 strikeouts.

He was 3-7 with 29 saves and a 2.67 ERA in 58 relief appearances last season and 10-25 with 143 saves and a 2.64 ERA in his last four seasons, striking out 284.

He will become the second player of Japanese descent to play for the Diamondbacks, joining Takashi Saito.

"I am honored to be signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks. They have welcomed me and my family with open arms and made us feel at home already, which is the reason I chose to sign here. My family is looking forward to starting our new life together in Arizona. I believe the D-Backs are a team that can win a championship, and i hope I can help them achieve that goal."

He played for Japan in this year’s World Baseball Classic, going 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in six relief appearances.

In a corresponding move to make room on the 40-man roster, LHP Henry Owens was claimed off waivers by the Dodgers.

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