December 28, 2011

Hideki Okajima, Yankees agree to minor league deal

The Red Sox signed an ex-Yankee earlier this offseason in Mark Melancon, now the Yankees have agreed to a deal with a former Red Sox player, tweets David Waldstein.

Hideki Okajima had a 3.11 career ERA in five seasons with the Red Sox, but spent most of last year in Triple-A with Pawtucket, where he had a 2.29 ERA in 51 innings. Okajima was shaky with the Red Sox in 2010, and his general upward trend in ERA indicates that he's lost his deceptiveness with major league hitters.

The Yankees only had Boone Logan as a lefty out of the bullpen last season because both Pedro Feliciano and Damaso Marte missed all of last season due to injuries.

Okajima is invited to join the Yankees in Tampa for spring training, according to Waldstein, but likely won't make the team.

I hope not.

By the way, the Yankees traded Melancon along with Jimmy Paredes to the Astros for Lance Berkman at the 2010 trade deadline. Melancon pitched great for Houston (2.85 ERA over a season and a half), and is now in the running for the closer spot with the Red Sox, their new GM Ben Cherington says.

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