Japanese reliever Naoyuki Uwasawa gets $25,000 signing bonus as part of Tampa Bay Rays contract

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Right-hander reliever Naoyuki Uwasawa will receive a $25,000 signing bonus as part of his minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Rays, who must pay a release fee of $6,250 to the Pacific League’s Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.

If added to the Rays' 40-man major league roster, Uwasawa would get a $2.5 million salary while in the major leagues and a $225,000 salary while assigned to the minors. He could earn an additional $900,000 in performance bonuses for innings in the major leagues under the agreement announced Thursday: $100,000 for 80 innings and each additional 10 through 160.

Tampa Bay would owe the Japanese club a supplemental fee in the amount of 15% of any additional money the pitcher earns while in the major leagues.

Uwasawa, who turns 30 on Feb. 6, was posted by the Fighters in late November and had until Thursday to finalize an agreement with a Major League Baseball team. The Rays said he will attend major league spring training.

Uwasawa was 9-9 with a 2.96 ERA in 24 relief appearances last year and has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen since 2018. Uwasawa is 70-62 with a 3.58 in 50 starts and 123 relief appearances over nine seasons with the Fighters.

The Rays must pay his Japanese club a release fee of 25% of the signing bonus of his minor league contract as well as the supplemental fee of 15% of his major league contracts earnings, including bonuses, if he's added to the major league roster.