D-backs, Japanese reliever Hirano reach $6M, 2-year deal

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

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