Blue Jays officially sign Shun Yamaguchi to two-year deal

Shun-Yamaguchi

Japan starting pitcher Shun Yamaguchi delivers a pitch against South Korea in the first inning of their Premier12 baseball tournament (Toru Takahashi/AP)

The Toronto Blue Jays officially signed right-handed pitcher Shun Yamaguchi to a two-year deal worth $6.350 million, the team announced Saturday.

Yamaguchi, 32, has spent 14 years playing professionally in Japan. Last season was one of his best years, in which he posted a 16-4 record, 2.78 ERA and 9.6 strikeouts per nine in 181 innings.

He was available to the Blue Jays (and other MLB clubs) this off-season after being posted by his Japanese team, the Yomiuri Giants. Under the posting system, the Giants are entitled to 20 per cent of Yamaguchi’s first $25 million in earnings from the signing club, as Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi recently noted.

Yamaguchi has several years of experience as both a starter and a reliever. If he does become a starter for the Blue Jays, he’d join fellow off-season acquisitions Hyun-Jin Ryu, Tanner Roark, and Chase Anderson in Toronto’s new-look rotation.

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