The Yomiuri Giants announced the signing of free agent left-hander Toshiya Sugiuchi to a 2 billion yen, four-year contract on Friday.
Sugiuchi is the third big-name player signed by the free-spending Giants this offseason, following his Japan Series-winning Softbank Hawks teammate D.J. Houlton and Shuichi Murata, a free agent third baseman from the Yokohama BayStars.
''I have mixed feelings of hope and anxiety, to be honest,'' Sugiuchi said at a press conference at a Tokyo hotel. ''I want to put on my uniform and go out to play baseball as soon as possible.''
The 31-year-old pitched seven shutout innings and combined with three relievers on a four-hit shutout in Softbank's Japan Series-clinching Game 7 victory over the Chunichi Dragons.
Sugiuchi will wear jersey No. 18, the number traditionally worn by the team's ace pitchers such as Motoshi Fujita, Tsuneo Horiuchi and Masumi Kuwata.
''I know the significance of wearing No. 18,'' he said. ''I'll make the number even more special when someone else wears it next.''
Sugiuchi has set his goal for next season at 18 wins, a career high he achieved in his Pacific League MVP and Sawamura Award-winning year of 2005.
''I think I'm the most excited one about our signing Sugiuchi,'' said Giants manager Tatsunori Hara, who attended the press conference. ''I just want him to play to the best of his ability and contribute to our team.''
Sugiuchi has a 103-55 career record with a 2.92 ERA in 10 seasons, all with the Hawks. He went 8-7 with a 1.94 ERA in 23 starts in 2011.