Athletics To Sign Hideki Okajima

The Athletics have agreed to sign left-hander Hideki Okajima to a minor league deal with an invite to big league spring training, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). The deal with the Joe Rosen client is pending a physical.

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. He'll join left-handed relievers Sean DoolittleJerry Blevins and Jordan Norberto in the Oakland bullpen.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle first reported the sides were nearing a deal.

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