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Report: Red Sox sign Koji Uehara to one-year, $4.25 million deal

Dec 6, 2012, 12:53 PM EDT

Koji Uehara Getty Images

Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Red Sox and setup man Koji Uehara have agreed to a one-year deal, pending a physical.

FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi says the contract has a $4.25 million base salary.

One imagines Uehara could have held out for a multiyear deal, given his career 2.89 ERA and 0.92 WHIP since arriving in the U.S. four years ago. However, he has dealt with arm problems. Last season, he had a 1.75 ERA and a ridiculous 43/3 K/BB ratio in 36 innings for Texas.

Uehara joins a Boston pen also set to include Andrew Bailey, Mark Melancon, Alfredo Aceves and Craig Breslow, with Junichi Tazawa, Daniel Bard, Clayton Mortensen, Andrew Miller and Franklin Morales (if he’s not in the rotation) also in the mix. It’s possible his addition might force his countryman, Tazawa, out of the mix. Bard is out of options, so the Red Sox will have to keep him in the majors or trade him.

  1. Joe - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    It’s hard to believe that Tazawa doesn’t already have a spot in the bullpen. He was awesome last year. He’s got to be ahead of Melancon and Aceves on the depth chart.

    • Detroit Michael - Dec 6, 2012 at 2:25 PM

      Good point. ERA of 1.43 and a 9:1 K/BB ratio for Tazawa in 44 MLB IP last season is very impressive.

  2. beefytrout - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Damn it. Your oversized glove, sideburns, and celebrations will be missed in Arlington.

    Love,

    This Rangers fan.

    • bmorelikeme - Dec 6, 2012 at 2:35 PM

      Baltimore fans felt the same way when we traded him to you.

      Guy has a knack for becoming a fan favorite.

  3. Tick - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    The only problem with Uehara has been his high home run ratio, which isn’t going to get better in this bandbox.

    • mazblast - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:32 PM

      He’s been pitching in Baltimore and Texas, neither exactly Petco-esque, and he’s done alright.

      • Tick - Dec 6, 2012 at 3:40 PM

        Well, I’m obviously talking about his high home run ratio from these two places where he’s been, so no, he hasn’t done alright in that regard. I did say it was the only bad stat he’s put up. Just that it won’t get better in Fenway and it could catch up to him eventually.

    • hammyofdoom - Dec 6, 2012 at 10:31 PM

      Actually there are 8 ballparks that give up more home runs than fenway. Baltimore and Texas are two of them, so actually yes it SHOULD get better

  4. jerze2387 - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Does every Japanese pitchers career have to go through Boston? Dice K, tazawa, nomo…

    • mazblast - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:31 PM

      Kuroda hasn’t pitched for the Red Sox. At least, not yet.

      • jerze2387 - Dec 6, 2012 at 5:40 PM

        key word being YET. Im sure theyre printing Kuroda and yu darvish Jerseys as we speak for when they hit FA

    • jwbiii - Dec 6, 2012 at 4:39 PM

      You’ve never had quahog sashimi, have you?

  5. gmillener - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Bard still has options.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Dec 6, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      I’ve read in a couple of different places that he’s out of options. Care to back it up?

      • jwbiii - Dec 6, 2012 at 4:36 PM

        From

        http://slambios.canoe.ca/sportsplus/baseball/player.cgi?7098&showAllMoves=1

        a generally reliable source:

        8/30/2012 Recalled from Pawtucket (AAA).
        6/05/2012 Optioned to Pawtucket (AAA).
        5/10/2009 Contract purchased from Pawtucket (AAA).
        6/06/2006 Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 1st round (28th overall) in 2006.

        Looks like he has two options left. He didn’t have any minor league innings in 2010 or 2011, which supports the argument.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 6, 2012 at 4:52 PM

        jwbiii, according to baseball-reference in addition to what you listed he pitched:
        77.2 innings between Portland and Greenville in 2008
        79 innings between Greenville and Lancaster in 2007

        Here is the link: http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=bard–001dan

      • jwbiii - Dec 6, 2012 at 5:22 PM

        Sure, but what happened before his contract was purchased for the first time has no effect on the number of options he has remaining.

      • gmillener - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:40 AM

        Sox Prospects: http://wiki.soxprospects.com/Player+Options

        And a Providence Journal article mentioning his three options from just before he got sent down this year: http://blogs.providencejournal.com/sports/red-sox/2012/06/what-to-do-with-bard-valentine-ill-think-about-it-a-while.html

        He’s got two left, as jwbiii points out.

  6. shaggylocks - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Aceves is still with the Sox? I thought for sure he would have been shuffled off by now after his temper tantrums at the end of last season.

  7. markofapro - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    His arm was overused in 2011 with Balt and Tex. will be interesting to see if he has stamina to last with BOSOX

  8. storebrandcookies - Dec 6, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    I loved Koji when he was in Texas. Good luck.

  9. deathmonkey41 - Dec 6, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Can he drink Sapporo and eat fried Sushi in the clubhouse?

    P.S.

    I know Sushi contains raw seafood- it’s a joke.

    • 18thstreet - Dec 6, 2012 at 3:51 PM

      I’m coming to death monkey’s defense here. This is the best beer and fried chicken joke in MONTHS!

    • petey1999 - Dec 7, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      Enough. Give it a rest.

  10. tfbuckfutter - Dec 6, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Surprised they were in the setup man market…..thought they’d be more focused on the mop-up man market.

  11. watermelon1 - Dec 7, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    As a fan of him with the Orioles, it’s going to pain me to see him pitching for Boston. Texas was fine, but this is just too much.

    Then again, if the Orioles aren’t going to make a significant move to either get a batter teams actually fear enough to want to avoid(giving the top of the order better pitches)… or one of these pitchers that’s available… then I might be cheering for karma and Koji to win a lot of those 1-0 games in the late innings at Camden Yards just to spite Angelos.

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