PHOENIX -- The D-backs added another piece to the back end of their bullpen Friday, agreeing to terms on a two-year, $6 million deal with Japanese right-hander Yoshihisa Hirano."I am honored to be signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks," Hirano said in a statement released by the team. "They have welcomed
PHOENIX -- The D-backs added another piece to the back end of their bullpen Friday, agreeing to terms on a two-year, $6 million deal with Japanese right-hander Yoshihisa Hirano.
"I am honored to be signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks," Hirano said in a statement released by the team. "They have welcomed me and my family with open arms and made us feel at home already, which is the reason I chose to sign here. My family is looking forward to starting our new life together in Arizona. I believe the D-backs are a team that can win a championship, and I hope I can help them achieve that goal."
Hirano, 33, spent the past 12 years with the Orix Buffaloes of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball. Since 2010, he has appeared in 476 games as a reliever and compiled a 2.30 ERA with 156 saves.
"He's mostly fastball/split," D-backs GM Mike Hazen said of Hirano's repertoire. "Fastball in the low 90s, he has a really good split finger, throws a curveball as well, three-pitch mix but main feature is the fastball/split. Good ability to throw strikes."
Over the past five seasons, Hirano has been the Buffaloes' closer and he led NPB in saves with 40 in 2014.
With the loss of closer Fernando Rodney to free agency, the D-backs have looked to give manager Torey Lovullo multiple options for the end of games. Archie Bradley, who excelled as Rodney's setup man last year, is one piece, and the team also acquired right-hander Brad Boxberger as another prior to Hirano.
"Those would be the three guys that I think have the ability to pitch 7-8-9 in some form or fashion," Hazen said, referring to the game's final three innings. "I don't know that we'll walk into Spring Training with a declared closer. We'll probably save that for walking out of Spring Training. I think we have an opportunity to take a look and see what roles best fit everybody."
With Bradley, Hirano and Boxberger in the fold, Hazen said the D-backs are likely done looking for back-end relievers and will turn their focus to other areas while remaining open to adding other bullpen pieces.
Whether anything gets done over the holidays remains to be seen.
"Hard to say," Hazen said. "There's still a decent amount of conversation going on -- nothing at all imminent or forthcoming by any stretch. Things will definitely be quieter than it was over the Winter Meetings and since. And I'm sure we'll pick it back up after the holiday."
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.