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Former Red Sox closer Uehara signs with Yomiuri Giants


TOKYO (AP) Former Major League Baseball pitcher Koji Uehara returned to his former Japanese team on Friday, agreeing to a one-year contract with the Yomiuri Giants worth $1.87 million.

The 42-year-old right-handed closer helped the Boston Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 when he was named MVP of the American League Championship Series. He spent nine seasons in MLB, compiling 95 saves and a 2.66 ERA.

Prior to going to the U.S., Uehara was a member of the Giants from 1999-2008 and was a two-time winner of the Sawamura Award, Japan’s version of the Cy Young Award.

Last season, Uehara pitched in 49 games for the Chicago Cubs, winning three, losing four and saving two with a 3.98 ERA. He did not appear in the postseason and was released after the season.

In addition to Boston and Chicago, he also played for Baltimore and Texas.

The Giants are Japan’s oldest professional team but have struggled recently, finishing fourth last season in the Central League.

Daniel Murphy will miss the start of the season

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Daniel Murphy said today that he will not be ready for Opening Day and will start the year on the disabled list.

Murphy had microfracture knee surgery last October. While he has been able to take batting practice and field ground balls, his lateral movement is still limited. In his absence — which is not expected to last past mid-April or so — Howie Kendrick will get the bulk of the playing time at second base.

Murphy hit .322/.384/.543, smacked 23 homers and knocked in 93 RBI in 2017.