November 30, 2006

Red Sox Sign LHP Hideki Okajima

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Official announcement:
The Boston Red Sox have agreed to terms with free agent lefthanded pitcher Hideki Okajima on a two-year contract for 2007 and 2008 with an option for the 2009 season.

An official announcement will take place at 5:00 p.m. ...

Okajima, 30, has been one of the top setup relievers in Nippon Professional Baseball for the last several years. ... The lefthander has a career record of 34-32 with a 3.36 ERA and 41 saves in 439 games with Yomiuri (1995-2005) and Nippon (2006).
Okajima's ratios for 2006, in 54.2 innings:
 9.9 BR/9
7.6 H/9
0.8 HR/9
10.4 K/9
2.3 BB/9
4.5 K/BB
2.14 ERA
1.10 WHIP

vs. RH (130 AB) .254 BA, 6 BB, 36 K, 5 HR
vs. LH ( 70 AB) .186 BA, 8 BB, 27 K, 0 HR
The Herald reports that Okajima "is said to have a devastating curveball but is not a hard thrower." His fastball runs from the mid-80s to 90. ... In-depth stats are from this SoSH thread, which also has some video clips.


Jack Marshall said...

Sounds like a left-handed Greg Harris (who WAS left-handed, on occasion.)
I LOVED Greg Harris.

Devine said...

I finally managed to click a button three times and vote for your site on that thingy. Are we friends?

Ignoring the JD Drew and Manny things, can we just sign Matsuzaka (let's hit the middle of both sides' expectations, apparently, and make it $12 mil/4 years)?

redsock said...

I finally managed to click a button three times and vote for your site on that thingy. Are we friends?

Only if you do it again tomorrow.

Zenslinger said...

He's had only a few mediocore to bad years -- most have been excellent, like last year.

It occurs to me that assuming we get Matsuzaka, and another starter (Peavy or someone) -- there might not be room for Wake in the starting rotation. Much less Clemens.

Why doesn't Wake close again? He did well at it before.

Jack Marshall said...

Z: I think it's madness to use Wake as anything but a starter. He eats innings, and his hot streaks can salt away a championship. Yeah, I think he can be valuable in any role...but he guarantees 12-15 wins every year, and in a good one he can get 17 or 18. How many 4th or 5th starters can do that?

I scored Wake's games as a closer, just for fun, and they were the most nerve-wracking games within memory. Tying runs scoring on strike-outs and passed manager should have to live through that, even if Wake's ratio of saves to opportunities is OK.

redsock said...

they were the most nerve-wracking games within memory

You got that right. No closing for Timmeh.

9casey said...

I like wake as much as the next guy
but over the last 4 seasons he is 46-40 with a 4.50 era over 200 innings in two of those years.

I also think he should start but the leash may be short especially with no true knuckleball catcher yet .

Zenslinger said...

I see what you mean, but -- maybe middle/long relief and sixth starter? I mean, if we were to score Peavy (not that it's particularly likely), your rotation would be: Schilling, Beckett, Papelbon, Matsuzaka, Peavy.