Athletics, Okajima Nearing Deal

The Athletics are nearing a deal with left-handed reliever Hideki Okajima, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter). Agent Joe Rosen represents Okajima.

The Fukuoka Softbank Hawks recently released Okajima from his contract, allowing him to pursue opportunities at the MLB level. A few teams had interest in Okajima, who spent the 2012 season in Japan after pitching with the Red Sox from 2007-11.

Okajima posted a 0.94 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 1.1 BB/9 over the course of 47 2/3 innings in Japan last year. The 37-year-old was a key contributor in Boston's bullpen from 2007-10, posting a 3.06 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 over the course of 254 appearances during that four-year period. If the A's complete a deal with Okajima, he'll join left-handed relievers Sean DoolittleJerry Blevins and Jordan Norberto in the Oakland bullpen.



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