Sports Hochi reports that the Softbank Hawks have reached basic agreements with two righthanders: veteran Yhency Brazoban and prospect Edison Barrios.
Brazoban's addition was apparently triggered by the shoulder-pain induced absence of closer Takahiro Mahara. Softbank player development director Itaru Kobayashi is quoted as saying: "we have great expectations for him as closer. If possible we'd like him to come to Japan this month." It feels like Brazoban has been around forever but he's only 30.
Barrios is by far the more interesting signing. At age 22 he has three years of experience in the Pirates' organization, but never made it out of the Venezuelan Summer League. This year he's been a teammate of Jackson Melian's and Mac Suzuki's with the independent Kobe Suns, where he's posted a 1.66 ERA in 48.2 innings pitched. Softbank saw enough to give him a shihaika (70-man roster) contract, and it'll be interesting to see how he develops.