Sawamura guaranteed $3M by Red Sox, could earn $6.75M


FORT MYERS, Fla. — Japanese right-hander Hirokazu Sawamura is guaranteed $3 million over two years in his contract with the Boston Red Sox and could earn $6.75 million over three seasons if he appears in 60 games a year.

The 32-year-old gets $1.2 million salaries in both 2021 and 2022 as part of the deal announced Tuesday.

His contract includes a $3 million team option for 2023, and if that is declined Sawamura could exercise a $600,000 player option for 2023. He would get a $600,000 buyout if both options are declined.

If Sawamura is not released before the 2022 opener, the 2023 salary and buyout would escalate by $600,000 each.

If he remains with the Red Sox through opening day in 2022, the buyout could escalate by up to $400,000 based on pitching appearances in 2021 or 2022: $100,000 each for 35, 40, 45 and 50.

Sawamura could earn $250,000 each season in performance bonuses for pitching appearances: $50,000 each for 35, 40, 45, 50 and 60.

Sawamura has spent the last 10 years pitching in Japan’s top league, going 48-52 with 75 saves, four shutouts, a 2.77 ERA and 790 strikeouts in 88 starts and 264 relief appearances for the Central League’s Yomiuri Giants (2011-16, 2018) and the Pacific League’s Chiba Lotte Marines (2020).

He was the Central League’s 2011 Rookie of the Year.

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