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Hideki Okajima wants to return to MLB after year in Japan

Oct 19, 2012, 5:27 PM EDT

Hideki Okajima AP

I do believe this would be a first: Japanese player returns to MLB after previously returning to Japan.

That’s what former Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima is looking to do after posting a 0.94 ERA in 47 2/3 innings for the SoftBank Hawks in 2012.

Of course, Okajima never wanted to go back to pitching in Japan in the first place. He signed a minor league deal with the Yankees last spring, only to have the contract voided because of an undisclosed physical issue. As it turns out, he probably would have been pretty useful had the Yankees kept him around.

Okajima, who turns 37 in December, had a 3.11 ERA in 246 1/3 innings for the Red Sox between 2007-11. He hasn’t really been a successful big-league reliever since 2009, but as long as he’s willing to take a minor league contract, there will probably be at least a few teams interested in his services.

  1. stlouis1baseball - Oct 19, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    The game is about two hours away and no lineup? None Matthew? Did I miss it?
    I am still at work…WAITING. What gives?

    • Matthew Pouliot - Oct 19, 2012 at 7:45 PM

      Sorry, I was long gone after posting my little entries. I know the Cards were holding their lineup back pending a Beltran decision. Aaron was all bent out of shape about not being able to post it :)

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 19, 2012 at 7:50 PM

        Hahaha! I bet he was bent out of shape. Obviously…he wasn’t alone (little on edge). Carlos’ injury was precisely why. Sort of suprised he’s starting.

  2. j0esixpack - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    The only way Okajima gets an ERA that low in the majors is if he can face the Yankees every night.

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