Softbank Hawks Sign Hideki Okajima

The Softbank Hawks have signed Hideki Okajima, according to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. The Hawks announced the Okajima signing at a press conference. Okajima is represented by Joe Rosen.

The 36-year-old lefty looked to be jumping from one division rival to another earlier this offseason when he signed with the Yankees, but a failed physical due to left shoulder concerns voided the deal. According to Newman, Okajima downplayed concerns over his shoulder and told reporters he is eager to "show what he did in America." This will mark Okajima's first season back in his native Japan since 2006. He's appeared in Boston's bullpen in each of the past five seasons, albeit very briefly in 2011.

Okajima has recorded a 3.11 ERA in 246 1/3 Major League innings, with a 7.9 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, and 36.8% groundball rate. His strikeouts have dipped heavily since the 2008 season, however, and in 2010 his control began eluding him as well. He walked five batters in just 8 1/3 innings in 2011 before being designated for assignment in May when the Sox acquired Franklin Morales. Okajima has earned a total of $7MM in his MLB career to date, according to Baseball Reference.

7 Responses to Softbank Hawks Sign Hideki Okajima Leave a Reply

  1. CAD_Monkey 3 years ago

    Noo!  If Matsui doesn’t sign soon, then we won’t have any players named Hideki in the majors. ;_;

    Good luck to Okaji.  I’m gonna miss the crazy delivery.

  2. Okajima rocks – we’ll miss him

  3. johnsilver 3 years ago

    Okie was a real gem for 3 years and probably could have been for a year or 2 in the NL. Surprised he didn’t find a gig there, rather than sign with NY before failing his physical, but should have some success back in the Land of the Rising Sun anyway.

  4. Karkat 3 years ago

    Even though his more recent years were painful to watch, he was an integral part of the 2007 championship team. Good luck back in your home country, Okie.

  5. CAD_Monkey 3 years ago

    I guess it was more fun to watch when he doesn’t play for your team.

  6. redsx968 3 years ago

    Then go ahead to the McCutchen thread and post there…

  7. pennypincher 3 years ago

    who cares? It’s the Pirates.  This is the guy who throws towards the plate without looking!

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