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Red Sox cut ties with Shunsuke Watanabe

Mar 30, 2014, 8:47 AM EDT

shunsuke watanabe getty Getty Images

In December the Red Sox signed veteran Japanese reliever Shunsuke Watanabe to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

But the marriage won’t be a long-lasting one.

As first reported Saturday by Alex Speier of WEEI, Boston has released the 37-year-old Watanabe, who is now a free agent and will presumably attempt to latch on with a different MLB team. He yielded two runs in three Grapefruit League innings with the Sox.

Watanabe was (or is) trying to break into the majors after 13 seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball, during which he compiled a 3.65 ERA and 1.235 WHIP in 1,578 1/3 frames for the Chiba Lotte Marines.

His unique spider-like submarine pitching style is a thing to behold …

  1. dirtyharry1971 - Mar 30, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    I like side arm pitchers, they usually can pitch in a lot of games and are usually effective for one inning and a nice change of pace coming out of the pen because there are so few of them

    • proudlycanadian - Mar 30, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      So you want the Yankees to sign a Boston leftover!

      • dirtyharry1971 - Mar 30, 2014 at 12:23 PM

        You know for a minor league deal I wouldn’t mind if they gave the guy a shot, not at all.

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 30, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        He could probably make more money in Japan than he could on a minor league deal; however, it appears that he might just want to give North America a try.

  2. ez4u2sa - Mar 30, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    The Sox have depth with their pitchers so I’m surprised they bothered at all with this guy. Given the number of teams the are desperate for pitching, like the Yankees or the Mets, he’ll catch on somewhere.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 30, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      How exactly are the Yanks desperate for pitching?

      • ez4u2sa - Mar 30, 2014 at 12:50 PM

        Sabathia is a shadow of his former self. Tanaka has proved nothing yet and could end up being another Dice K. There is no proven closer. So, who do they have to be afraid of?

      • dillongeeescapeplan - Mar 30, 2014 at 12:58 PM

        “There is no proven closer.”

        Robertson’s been one of the best relief pitchers in the league over the last few years. But yeah, I guess he isn’t a “PROVEN CLOSAH”

      • dillongeeescapeplan - Mar 30, 2014 at 1:01 PM

        http://www.hardballtimes.com/tht-live/leverage-index-by-inning/

  3. zdravit - Mar 30, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    You were only able to dig up a grainy 25 second video of this mysterious beast? I’m intrigued.

  4. drewzducks - Mar 30, 2014 at 12:32 PM

  5. sisqsage - Mar 30, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Watanabe was too much of a wanna-be.

  6. rdanie29 - Mar 30, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    seems like it would be one hell of a deceptive delivery.

  7. themagicfanguy - Mar 30, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    Yankees pitching is horrible, deal with it.

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