A’s Sign Hideki Okajima

Apr 26, 2011; Baltimore, MD, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Hideki Okajima (37) pitches in the seventh inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles defeated the Red Sox 4 – 1. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The A’s have signed relief pitcher Hideki Okajima to a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training, multiple sources confirm. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the deal.

The two sides were closing in on an agreement last night.

Okajima spent five seasons (2007-2011) as a reliever for the Boston Red Sox, and played in Japan in 2012.

After spending 13 years pitching in Japan, Okajima signed with the Red Sox and made an immediate impact.

He had a 3-2 record with a 2.22 ERA in 69 innings during his rookie season as Boston’s setup man. He was chosen as an All-Star in his first season and finished sixth in the Rookie of the Year voting.

However, his stats have tailed off in recent seasons. In 2010, he recorded a career-high 4.50 ERA, and pitched just 8.1 innings in 2011 before being designated for assignment.

The Yankees briefly signed Okajima, but a failed physical resulted in his release.

According to NBC Sports, Okajiami did not allow a run in his first 46 innings with the Softbank Hawks in Japan in 2012.

The A’s have already upgraded their bullpen this off-season by signing the veteran Chris Resop. Adding Okajima into the mix can only be beneficial.

Topics: Boston Red Sox, Hideki Okajima, Oakland Athletics

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