The Cleveland Indians are the latest team to tap into Japan's talented pitching pool. The Tribe has inked free agent closer Masahide Kobayashi to a two-year contract with a club option for 2010.
The 33-year-old right-hander has recorded at least 20 saves in each of the past seven seasons and is one of just three pitchers in Japanese baseball history with over 200 saves. He played this past season for a team managed by former big league skipper Bobby Valentine.
Kobayashi will move into the back end of Cleveland's bullpen as a setup man for closer Joe Borowski, who led the AL with 45 saves last season. The Indians recently exercised Borowski's 4 million-dollar option for 2008.