When Koji Uehara signed with the Red Sox this offseason, the contract was reported as a one-year, $4.25MM contract. However, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe recently reported that Uehara has an option that will vest after his next appearance (Twitter link). Alex Speier of WEEI.com spoke with an industry source that pegged the value of the vesting option at $4.25MM.
Uehara, 38, is in the midst of another excellent season, having pitched to a 1.35 ERA with 12.5 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in 53 1/3 innings this season. He's stepped up as the team's closer following injuries to both Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey, recording 12 saves thus far. Speier adds that if Uehara finishes 12 more games (giving him 35 total), the value of his option will increase to $5MM.
That Uehara has finished 23 games for the Red Sox this season isn't insignificant in regards to his 2013 salary either; Uehara's contract contains incentives that call for him to earn an extra $125K for reaching 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 games finished (as noted at Cot's Contracts). In other words, he's already boosted his salary to $4.5MM and should see that figure rise noticeably in the season's final weeks.