Former Red Sox closer Uehara signs with Yomiuri Giants

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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.

Tyler Glasnow scheduled to rejoin Rays’ rotation

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to rejoin the rotation at Cleveland after missing nearly 14 months because of Tommy John surgery.

The Rays’ Opening Day starter last year hasn’t pitched this season after undergoing the procedure on Aug. 4, 2021.

“I think we’re pretty confident he’ll be starting for us,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said before the game with Toronto. “This is the first time he’s thrown pain-free in quite some time, so he’s encouraged by it.”

The 6-foot-8 right-hander went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts last year and is a key addition as the Rays near a wild-card spot.

“Compared to the past, like, three years it feels way better as far as postday and the week leading into starts and stuff,” Glasnow said. “It’s good to have an UCL, you know.”

Cash said Glasnow will throw around 45 pitches in his initial outing, which should allow him to go two or three innings.

“Two innings of Glasnow is still a huge plus for our team,” Cash said. “Like to get three innings. If we do, great. If we don’t, that’s fine, too.”

Glasnow allowed one run, one hit, four walks and had 14 strikeouts over seven innings in four starts with Triple-A Durham.

“I’m really excited,” Glasnow said. “I’m approaching it like normal, staying on routine. Feels normal.”

Glasnow signed a two-year, $30.35 million contract that will delay the start of his free agency by one year last month. He’s making $5.1 million this year and will get $5.35 million next season and $25 million in 2024, which is the first year he would have been eligible for free agency.