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Red Sox close to re-signing reliever Hideki Okajima

Dec 31, 2010, 3:47 PM EDT

Hideki Okajima

Non-tendered by the Red Sox three weeks ago Hideki Okajima is close to returning to Boston, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

Cafardo reports that Okajima is on the verge of agreeing to a one-year contract, presumably for less than the $3.5 million or so the Red Sox likely would have owed him through the arbitration process.

After posting a 2.72 ERA in his first three seasons Okajima was relegated to mop-up duties following a terrible first half, angered the Boston media by avoiding interviews, and admitted to being homesick without anyone to talk to in the bullpen.

All of which explains why he was non-tendered, but Okajima finished the season by allowing just two runs in his final 16 appearances to end with a reasonable 4.50 ERA in 46 innings and he’s certainly far less of a risk than relying on Rich Hill or Andrew Miller to fill a left-handed setup role.

  1. baseballisboring - Dec 31, 2010 at 4:56 PM

    I’m happy to have him back at a reduced salary. I think he can still be plenty useful.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 31, 2010 at 6:21 PM

      Congratulations to Okajima. I am sure that he is having a happy new year celebration. As far as the “plenty useful” prediction is concerned, we will see! Plenty of year end predictions turn out to be a tad off.

      • baseballisboring - Dec 31, 2010 at 6:29 PM

        Very true. But plenty useful also has different meanings for different salaries and different amounts of leverage…both the dollars and leverage will be lower this year. I think he’ll be ok.

      • proudlycanadian - Jan 1, 2011 at 6:46 AM

        Okajima was certainly not very boring during many of his appearances last season. I wish him success against the Yankees.

  2. spudchukar - Dec 31, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    Will Fuentes end up with the Rays now?

  3. steelerfan55 - Jan 2, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    he is good but he also blew a couple of games for us the last two years

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