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Red Sox sign Japanese lefty

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  February 11, 2011 10:32 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. The Nikkan Sports web site is reporting tonight that the Red Sox will sign 29-year-old lefthander Itsuki Shoda to a minor-league deal.

A Major League source confirmed the deal, saying Shoda was invited to minor league camp and would have to win a job to stay with the organization. The cost to the Red Sox was minimal.

Shoda was a first-round draft pick in Japan and the Pacific League rookie of the year while with the Nippon Ham Fighters in 2002. He has since fallen on hard times and pitched the last two seasons in Taiwan. The CPBL is not a high-level league.

Shoda has been a starter for the bulk of his career.

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