Roberto Osuna in 2020 with MLB’s Houston Astros. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Relief pitcher Roberto Osuna signed a four-year contract worth four billion yen to return to the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, Yahoo Japan News reported on Monday.
It’s a record-setting contract in Nippon Professional Baseball league for a foreign player.
Osuna, 28, was born in Sinaloa, Mexico, and will play in his fourth season outside of Major League Baseball after becoming a free agent on October 30, 2020 from the Houston Astros.
Osuna played in NPB for two seasons with the Chiba Lotte Marines in 2022 and in 2023 during his first year with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.
In his two year career in NPB, Osuna has a 7-3 record with a 0.92 ERA in 78 appearances out of the bullpen, making 36 saves and throwing 78.2 innings while allowing 43 hits, eight earned runs, four home runs, nine walks, and striking out 74 batters with a 0.661 WHIP.
This past season, Osuna was nominated as an All-Star and went 3-2, posting a 0.92 ERA in 49 appearances with 26 saves, throwing 49 innings, allowing 28 hits, five earned runs, three home runs, six walks, 42 strikeouts and a 0.694 WHIP.
This past season, the SoftBank Hawks finished in third place of the Pacific League going 71-69-3 and losing in the first round of the league’s best-of-three Climax Series to the second place 70-68-5 Chiba Lotte Marines.
The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks will open up at home against the 2023 Pacific League champion Orix Buffaloes at the PayPay Dome on Friday, March 29.
The start times of the games on March 29 for the 12 NPB teams in the Pacific League and the Central League for the 2024 NPB Regular season have yet to be announced.
All of the 12 NPB organizations will open their training camps in mid-January prior to the start of the 2024 regular season.