JAPAN – The Seibu Lions have re-signed former Major League pitchers Brian Sikorski and Alex Graman for the 2011 season. The Lions (78-65-1) finished percentage points behind the Softbank Hawks (76-63-5) in the Pacific League before suffering a pair of one-run losses to the Yomiuri Giants in the opening round of the playoffs.
Sikorski went 2-5 with a 2.57 ERA and led the Pacific League with 33 saves in 58 appearances in 2010. The 36-year-old Michigan native, who made his MLB debut in 2000 with the Texas Rangers, will earn a salary of 90 million yen ($1,090,777) next year.
Graman, 33, will begin his fifth season with Seibu and agreed to a 50 million yen ($60,5987) deal. The left-handed reliever was limited by arm problems to just 9.2 innings the past two seasons, but posted a 3-3 record, 31 saves, and a 1.42 ERA in 2008 as he helped the Lions win the Pacific League championship and the Climax Series before saving Games 1 and 7 of the Japan Series to lead Seibu past the Yomiuri Giants, 4 games to 3.
LOTTE INKS ORIOLES FARMHAND
The Chiba Lotte Marines have announced the signing of Baltimore Orioles farmhand Bob McCrory to helf offset the loss of closer Hiroyuki Kobayashi. The 28-year-old made his major league debut in 2008 against the Tampa Bay Rays. The right-hander posted a 3-4 mark with two saves and a 4.88 ERA with in Double-A action this past season.
CHUNICHI ADDS VERSATILE SLUGGER
The Chunichi Dragons have signed corner infielder/outfielder Joel Guzman to a $500K, one-yearcontract. The 26-year-old was named the Dodgers Minor League Player of the Year in 2004 and was elected to the Florida State League All-Star Game. In 2005, he was named a Southern League All-Star. Guzmán has also played in the All-Star Futures Game twice, in 2004 and 2006.
SOFTBANK SIGNS STARTER
The Softbank Hawks have signed former Big League hurler Anthony Lerew to bolster its starting rotation. Lerew received a one-year deal worth 50 million yen ($60,5987). The 28-year-old, who earned his first career major league win on June 28 of this year, pitched the 16th no-hitter in the history of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League on Nov. 21, 2010.
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.