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Hideki Okajima returns from Japan, signs with A’s

Feb 11, 2013, 8:23 AM EDT

Hideki Okajima

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com says it’s a done deal. Minor-league contract.

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Hideki Okajima took a year off Major League Baseball and kicked some butt back in Japan, posting a a 0.94 ERA in 48 innings for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. Now he’s coming back and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that he and the A’s are close to a deal. She first reported their interest a couple of weeks ago.

She doesn’t say the nature of the deal, but it’s presumably a minor league contract.

  1. APBA Guy - Feb 11, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    This is “interesting”. He’s 37, and his last two years with Boston were not good: 4.50 & 4.32. Minor league deal, maybe?

    • dan1111 - Feb 11, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      Okajima had injury problems in 2010 and was released early in 2011. Overall, he only pitched 55 innings between the two seasons. If healthy, he seems like a decent low-cost relief option.

  2. cur68 - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Yay! I like this guy. He’s fun to watch. He’s never looking as he releases a pitch. Its a constant source of amazement to me that he can literally be facing third, eyes 90 feet off the plate on pitch release, and still zip the ball through the zone. I hope he makes it back to The Show.

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