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Angels ink Japanese reliever Kobayashi to Minors deal

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The Angels have agreed to terms with Japanese reliever Hiroyuki Kobayashi on a Minor League contract with a Spring Training invite.

Kobayashi has posted a 3.53 ERA through 12 seasons in Japan. After seven years as a full-time starter, the 34-year-old right-hander was moved to the Chiba Lotte Marines' bullpen in 2010 and thrived, posting a 2.21 ERA and 29 saves.

After not securing a Major League deal, Kobayashi moved to the Hanshin Tigers in 2011 and posted a 3.00 ERA with 45 strikeouts and 19 walks in 39 innings, then spent the 2012 season pitching in Japan's Industrial League.

The Kobayashi signing comes a day after the team signed veteran infielder Bill Hall to a Minor League deal, putting its list of camp invites at 64.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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