14 January 2010
Extra Bases is reporting that the Red Sox have avoided arbitration and agreed to terms with reliever Hideki Okajima.
Okajima agreed to a 1-year, non-guaranteed deal worth $2.75 million, with the chance to add $200,00 more through incentives.
Since leaving Japan to sign with Boston in 2007, Okajima has quietly been one of the Red Sox' most effective relievers.
Honestly, I can't think of a single interview or video of Okie Dokie saying anything.. but the Okie Dokie song is awesome.
Okajima may be the polar opposite of Jonathan Papelbon when it comes to the media, but he and Paps have been the best two relievers in Red Sox' bullpen over the past few seasons. Okie struggled down the stretch in 2007 and completetly imploded in June of 2008, but overall, he's been a reliable lefty and set-up man for the Sox.
2009 was his most consistent year. He posted a career-high 68 appearances, a 6-0 record and a 3.39 ERA, while finishing third among qualifying American League pitchers and sixth in the Majors allowing just 16.2 percent (6 of 37) of inherited runners to score... something he has struggled with in the past.
He also tied for fifth in the AL with 24 holds and leads the Major Leagues with 74 since the start of the 2007 campaign.
Bottom Line: Okie Dokie has been solid, but he did allow the most ding dongs of any reliver in 2009 with eight. His ERA, WHIP and BAA have all slowly increased while his K/BB rate has steadily decreased. Okajima can still be an effective RP for the Sox, but Daniel Bard's emergence as the new set-up man seems to be coming at the perfect time.
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