ARLINGTON, Texas – The Texas Rangers have signed Japanese pitcher Kohei Arihara to a two-year, US $ 6 million contract.
A 28-year-old right-handed gunner, Arihara spent six seasons with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, a Pacific League Professional Baseball team.
The Rangers paid US $ 1.2 million in release fees for Arihara, who can add US $ 50,000 in performance bonuses in each of the two seasons of his contract.
Arihara posted an 8-9 record and a 3.46 earned-run average in 20 starts with Hokkaido in the pandemic-shortened Japan baseball season. He led the Pacific League with three full games and placed second in innings pitched with 132 2/3.
Voted the Pacific League rookie of the year in 2015, Arihara set a career high with 15 wins in 2019. In that regard, he finished first in the league and placed second with a points average. earned by 2.46 in 24 starts.
In his career, he has a 60-50 record and an earned-run average of 3.74 in 129 games, including 125 as a starter.
“The addition of Kohei Arihara increases the depth of our starting pitching rotation,” said Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels.
“He has been successful in Japan for the past six years in Japan and came out of the shadows in 2019.”
Arihara would become the eighth Japanese to take part in a regular season game in a Rangers uniform. Yu Darvish (2012-2017) and Yoshinori Tateyama (2011-2012) also pitched with Hokkaido before joining Rangers.
“I will continue to work hard to improve myself and be successful in this city,” Arihara said in a statement released by Rangers on Saturday.
“To get there, I’m going to make sure I have a productive off-season so I can come to training camp in the best physical condition possible. “
To make room for Arihara in the 40-man roster, the Rangers have assigned right-handed pitcher Art Warren for assignment.