The Orioles signed Koji Uehara to a one-year deal with a vesting option for 2012, the team announced. The deal will pay the reliever $3MM in 2011 and give him the chance to earn a couple million more in incentives, depending on how many games he finishes or saves.
Uehara an earn an additional $100K for each of 30, 35, 40, 45, and 50 appearances, plus another $150K-200K based on games finished from 10 to 50. His $4MM option for 2012 will vest with either 55 games pitched or 25 games finished next season. The contract can be worth as much as $11.5MM and contains a limited no-trade clause.
Six teams were interested in Uehara earlier this week. The 35-year-old right-hander posted a 2.86 ERA with 11.3 K/9 and 1.0 BB/9 in 44 innings of work last year. He made trips to the disabled list because of elbow and thigh injuries, but few pitchers have a strikeout to walk ratio as impressive as Uehara's. SFX represents Uehara.