© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

03/30/08 5:54 PM ET

Sox land free agent Japanese hurler

Right-hander will report to extended Spring Training in Florida

LOS ANGELES -- No strangers to the Japanese pitching market, the Red Sox have made another foray, though hardly as headlined as when they landed Daisuke Matsuzaka or even Hideki Okajima.

This time around, the Sox have signed free agent right-hander Terumasa Matsuo, who had been pitching for the Independent Shikoku Island League in Japan.

Matsuo, who is 26 years old, will report to extended Spring Training in Fort Myers, Fla., at some point this week.

"We have followed his progress over the last two years and have been really impressed with his ability to pitch," said Jon Deeble, who serves as Pacific Rim coordinator for the Red Sox. "He has shown us the ability to throw the ball past the bat as evident of his high strikeout numbers and his ability to throw four pitches for strikes. He is a hard working kid who really loves to pitch. We look forward to having him pitch in a Red Sox uniform this upcoming season."

Pitching for the Kagawa Olive Guyners, Matsuo was the MVP of his league last season, going 15-3 with 159 strikeouts and a 1.72 ERA over 30 starts. In '06, Matsuo was 11-2 with a 1.82 ERA.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.