Former Red Sox closer Koji Uehara signs with Yomiuri Giants

TOKYO -- Former Major League Baseball pitcher Koji Uehara returned to his former Japanese team Friday, agreeing to a one-year contract with the Yomiuri Giants worth $1.87 million.

The 42-year-old right-handed closer helped the Boston Red Sox win the World Series in 2013, when he was named MVP of the American League Championship Series. He spent nine seasons in the majors, compiling 95 saves and a 2.66 ERA.

Prior to coming to the U.S., Uehara was a member of the Giants from 1999 to 2008 and was a two-time winner of the Sawamura Award, Japan's version of the Cy Young Award.

Last season, Uehara pitched in 49 games for the Chicago Cubs, winning 3, losing 4 and saving 2 with a 3.98 ERA. He did not appear in the postseason and was released after the season.

In addition to Boston and Chicago, Uehara also played for Baltimore and Texas.

The Giants are Japan's oldest professional team but have struggled recently, finishing fourth last season in the Central League.