Red Sox pick up Japanese reliever Shunsuke Watanabe, release righty Chris Carpenter

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It’s a night of subtle tweaks for the Red Sox, who have announced a minor league agreement with Japanese reliever Shunsuke Watanabe and the release of Chris Carpenter — the lesser-known one — who will go pitch for NPB’s Yakult Swallows.

Watanabe is an extreme submariner coming off a poor season in Japan and seems doubtful to make Boston’s Opening Day roster. He turned 37 years old in August and had a brutal 4.8 career K/9 in NPB.

Carpenter, a former third-round pick, was part of Boston’s return from the Cubs for Theo Epstein. The 27-year-old right-hander has a 5.17 ERA in 15 2/3 career major league innings and posted a 4.96 ERA this past summer at Triple-A Pawtucket.