Right-handed reliever Hirokazu Sawamura will take his inconsistent fastball and superb splitter to Fenway Park, Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reported Monday.
Although Rosenthal reported a $3 million, two-year deal, Japan’s media outlets citing MLB sources are reporting a $1.2 million a year salary — although that could also be construed as the figure for 2021 and not an annual amount.
Sawamura received a pay raise to roughly $1.5 million a year ago from the Yomiuri Giants, who then traded their mercurial former rookie of the year to the Lotte Marines in what appeared for all intents and purposes like a salary dump.
Sawamura did well with Lotte, and for once at least the Giants may have done their homework on the throw-away player they received in the deal. Third baseman Kazuya Katsuki, a 24-year-old who’d done nothing special in the minors for the Marines except hit home runs, had 75 minor league at-bats in a Giants uniform, and slashed .400/.495/.707, so that will be interesting to watch.
I hate to keep saying this, but Japanese salary figures, like the attendance figures at most NPB parks before 2005 have to be treated with suspicion. Teams say what they and the player are most comfortable announcing. The only way to really know would be to see the private personal service contracts between the parties — which even NPB doesn’t.