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Red Sox sign Koji Uehara to two-year, $18 million extension

The closer will be back in Boston and will likely end his career there.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox have signed closer Koji Uehara to a two-year, $18 million contract extension, according to a team announcement. Alex Speier of WEEI.com was first to report the value of the deal.

Uehara, who turns 40 in April, consistently expressed his willingness to return to the Red Sox despite his impending free agency. The sides have known to be in contact about an extension since the end of the season, and today's agreement will likely keep the right-hander in Boston through the end of his career.

Uehara, who originally signed with the Red Sox on a one-year, $4.5 million deal before the 2013 season, has been excellent in his two seasons in Boston, posting a 1.75 ERA and 47 saves in 137 appearances. The veteran was key to the team's World Series run last season, posting a 1.09 ERA during the regular season that year and allowing only one earned run and seven hits in 13.4 postseason innings.

Uehara's deal is likely to set the market value for closers, with Rafael Soriano and David Robertson among the options for teams looking for back-end bullpen help. With Uehara locked up, the Sox will likely turn their attention to the starting pitching market, with eyes on Jon Lester and James Shields as primary targets.