Sox sign Japanese submariner Watanabe

Shunsuke Watanabe goes so low with his submarine delivery that he nearly touches the mound. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

The Red Sox on Tuesday signed right-handed pitcher Shunsuke Watanabe, a pronounced submariner, to a minor league contract. He will report to minor league spring training and work as a reliever.

Watanabe, 37, has spent his entire 13-year career with the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league. Primarily a starter, he has a career record of 87-82 with a 3.65 ERA.

This past season Watanabe went 0-4 with a 4.62 ERA in six games, all starts, for Chiba Lotte.

Watanabe pitched on both of Japan’s World Baseball Classic championship teams in 2006 and 2009.

In addition, the Red Sox agreed to release the contract of right-handed pitcher Chris Carpenter to the Yakult Swallows of the Nippon League in exchange for cash.

Carpenter, along with righty Aaron Kurcz, was part of the compensation the Red Sox received from the Cubs for allowing Theo Epstein out of his contract.

Carpenter, 27, spent the majority of the year at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he went 0-2 with a 4.96 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 30 games (one start). For his major league career, he is 1-0 with a 5.17 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 18 games between the Cubs (2011) and Red Sox (2012).