The MLB off-season is in full swing and top free agents are beginning to decide where they will play next season. Aroldis Chapman recently returned to the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers re-signed Kenley Jansen and now another big-name relief pitcher has been taken off the market, as Junichi Tazawa has signed with the Miami Marlins.
Miami Marlins Sign Junichi Tazawa
Ken Rosenthal reported today that the Marlins signed Tazawa to a two-year deal worth $12 million, with $5 million being owed in the first year and $7 million the next. This will be the second star relief pitcher that the Boston Red Sox have lost to free-agency this off-season, as Koji Uehara recently signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs.
Source: Tazawa deal with #Marlins is two years, $12M.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 16, 2016
Tazawa gets 5M in ’17, 7M in ’18 #marlins
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 16, 2016
Tazawa had played his entire career in Boston, and has earned a career 3.58 ERA and a 1.263 WHIP in his seven years with the Red Sox. The Japanese righty was also a key part of the Red Sox winning the World Series in 2013, posting a 1.23 ERA in the postseason that year. During the 2013 World Series, he did not allow a single run in 2.1 innings pitched.
However, Tazawa has been less than stellar in his last two seasons with the Red Sox. Tazawa has had an ERA north of four in back to back years in bean town, despite maintaining strong strikeout numbers.
It’s likely that the Marlins would continue to use Tazawa in the role that he played in Boston, that of the right handed set-up man, this time for A.J. Ramos.