Hideki Okajima Rumors

Minor Moves: Rays, Cubs, Purcey, Okajima

We'll keep track of today's minor moves here..

  • Infielder Ryan Roberts, 1B/OF Shelley Duncan, outfielder Jason Bourgeois and right-hander J.D. Martin have all elected to become free agents, MLBDailyDish.com's Chris Cotillo reports (Twitter links).  All four players were outrighted off the Rays' roster earlier this season.
  • Also from Cotillo (Twitter links), catcher J.C. Boscan and outfielder Darnell McDonald have elected to become free agents.  Both players were outrighted off the Cubs' 40-man roster last week.
  • The White Sox announced they have outrighted David Purcey to Triple-A Charlotte. Purcey, 31, posted a 2.13 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 6.0 BB/9 in 24 relief appearances. The club's 40-man roster is now at 36.  Purcey was one of Chicago's arbitration eligible players this winter.
  • Left-hander Hideki Okajima and right-hander Chris Resop have elected free agency from the Athletics, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (Twitter link).  Okajima, 38 in December, pitched in five big league games for the A's but spent the bulk of the year in Triple-A where he posted a 4.22 ERA with 9.5 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in 37 appearances.  Resop, 31 in November, also spent the lion's share of the year in Triple-A and had a 6.81 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9.
  • Reds right-hander Jose Arredondo, Angels right-hander Robert Coello, and Marlins third baseman Gil Velazquez have elected free agency under Article XX(D), according to Eddy (via Twitter).  Arredondo struggled at the Triple-A level in 2013, posting a 5.87 ERA with 10.4 K/9 and 6.5 BB/9.  Coello made 16 big league relief appearances in 2013 and put up a 3.71 ERA with 12.2 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9.
  • At Baseball America, Eddy has the full list of the past week's minor league transactions.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post


Minor Moves: Gonzalez, Fedroff, Rincon, Okajima

We'll keep track of today's minor moves here..

  • The Astros outrighted Edgar Gonzalez to Double-A Corpus Christi, according to the MLB.com transactions page. Houston signed Gonzalez to a minor-league deal in May after he was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays and opted for free agency after clearing waivers. Gonzalez struggled in his 10 innings with the Astros' major league club, coughing up a 7.20 ERA. 
  • The Indians outrighted outfielder Tim Fedroff and shortstop Juan Diaz to their Triple-A affiliate, according to the MLB.com transactions page. Fedroff, 26, has hit .242/.334/.306 in 594 plate appearances for the Triple-A Columbus Clippers this year. Diaz, 24, has a .242/.317/.348 line over 495 plate appearances for the same team.
  • The Royals outrighted third baseman Edinson Rincon to Double-A Northwest Arkansas, according to the MLB.com transactions page. He's appeared in just 24 games for Royals minor league affiliates this season.
  • The Reds released Justin Freeman, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (on Twitter). Freeman gave up two runs in a one-inning appearance for the Reds this year, but has a 3.57 ERA in 307 1/3 career minor league innings.
  • The Athletics announced that Hideki Okajima has been outrighted to the club's Triple-A affiliate. The veteran reliever was designated for assignment by Oakland earlier this week to create space for fellow bullpen arm Pat Neshek.  The 37-year-old Okajima pitched to a 4.22 ERA for Triple-A Sacramento with 9.5 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 42 2/3 innings of work. He also saw some brief time in the Majors with Oakland this season, allowing a run on seven hits and a pair of walks in four innings of work.
  • The outright of Okajima three leaves players in DFA limbo, according to the DFA Tracker: James McDonald, Alex Liddi,and Hector Ambriz.

A’s Designate Hideki Okajima For Assignment

The A's announced, via Twitter, that they have designated left-hander Hideki Okajima for assignment. The move allows Oakland to select the contract of right-hander Pat Neshek, who was designated for assignment and outrighted to Triple-A last month.

The 37-year-old Okajima pitched to a 4.22 ERA for Triple-A Sacramento with 9.5 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 42 2/3 innings of work. The longtime Red Sox reliever yielded five earned runs in one inning in his final outing with Sacramento. He did see some brief time in the Majors with Oakland this season, allowing a run on seven hits and a pair of walks in four innings of work.

Okajima is the latest in a wave of players to be designated for assignment in order to clear room for September callups, and you can track all of those situations using MLBTR's DFA Tracker.



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.


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.


Quick Hits: Prospects, Yankees, Okajima, Carpenter

Jurickson Profar of the Rangers, Oscar Taveras of the Cardinals and Dylan Bundy of the Orioles top Keith Law's list of the best 100 prospects in baseball at ESPN.com. Five Cardinals occupy spaces on Law's top 100 list, which focuses on high-impact minor leaguers who could develop into MLB stars. Here are some links from around MLB with Spring Training approaching quickly…

  • There’s lots of talent beyond the top 100, so Law looks at some prospects who just missed his primary list.
  • General manager Brian Cashman said the Yankees are content to let MLB lead the investigation into Alex Rodriguez’s involvement with a Miami-based clinic that distributed performance enhancing drugs to prominent athletes. As Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger reports, the GM hasn’t spoken to Rodriguez about the issue, nor have others in the organization. “The only thing required from our end, right now, is patience and smarts,” Cashman said.
  • Athletics GM Billy Beane said the team’s 25-man roster is now complete, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. However, Slusser reports that the A's are still considering free agent left-hander Hideki Okajima.
  • Though Chris Carpenter is expected to miss the 2013 season, the Cardinals won’t be responsible for all of his $12.5MM salary. Insurance will cover some of that sum in 2013, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). That said, the Cardinals aren’t expecting major savings.

Cafardo On Bourn, Red Sox, Morales, Bailey, Okajima

The Yankees will face an uphill battle if they attempt to void Alex Rodriguez's contract due to his alleged ties to a Miami PED clinic.  The use of banned substances alone may not be enough to 86 a contract, but a former agent tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that they could try to prove there was fraud prior to the contract being signed.  In that situation, the Bombers would try to show that A-Rod lied about taking PEDs and therefore the contract was agreed to under false pretenses.  Here's more from today's column, with a heavy dose of news on current and former members of the Red Sox..

  • There has been speculation that the Mets are trying to get MLB to allow them to keep their first-round pick if they sign Michael Bourn.  According to a Mets source, they are still trying to determine whether they can get him to sign and they'll only go all out on the compensation issue if they determine that they can. 
  • A few teams contacted the Red Sox about left-hander Franklin Morales this winter and a few others are watching him closely in spring training.  Teams are intrigued by Morales’s starting capability and are especially interested to see if he can consistently maintain his 96 mph fastball over a full outing.  If Gio Gonzalez winds up being penalized for his alleged link to the PED clinic in Miami, Cafardo believes that the Nationals may be interested in Morales.
  • Andrew Bailey is another Red Sox pitcher who will be watched by scouts.  There are still teams out there who could use a closer like the Tigers and Mets and Boston might listen for the right return.
  • A few teams are interested in signing Hideki Okajima to a minor league deal, but he hasn’t made up his mind yet.  The left-hander was recently released by his Japanese team so that he could pursue a return to the majors.
  • Teams like the Astros and Mets are kicking around the possibility of bringing Daisuke Matsuzaka to camp to see if he can recapture the form he had in his first two seasons in Boston.  He could also head back to Japan if he doesn't feel that he has a good chance of making a big league roster.  Last month, a Mets insider told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that he didn't believe the club reached out to Matsuzaka.
  • Derek Lowe wants to be a starting pitcher, but it appears that he will have to go settle for being a swingman.  The Mets and the Astros are possibilities.

Softbank Hawks Release Hideki Okajima

The Softbank Hawks have released Hideki Okajima so that he can pursue a return to Major League Baseball, according to Nikkan Sports (Japanese link translated by NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman on Twitter).

The Athletics are said to be interested in Okajima, who pitched to a 0.94 ERA, 6.8 K/9 and 1.1 BB/9 in 47 2/3 innings for the Hawks last season. The 37-year-old southpaw returned to Nippon Professional Baseball last season after an injury to his left shoulder caused his minor league deal with the Yankees to fall through.

Okajima has a 3.11 ERA, 7.9 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 over the course of 246 1/3 Major League innings — all coming with the Red Sox from 2007-11. He finished sixth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting as a 31-year-old in 2007 and also represented the AL in the All-Star Game that season.


Athletics Interested In Hideki Okajima

The Athletics are considering signing Hideki Okajima, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The left-hander spent the 2012 season pitching with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks 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. He 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. Agent Joe Rosen represents Okajima, who turned 37 last month.

Left-handed relievers Sean Doolittle, Jerry Blevins and Jordan Norberto provide the A's with depth entering the 2013 season. However, bringing in Okajima would presumably be a low-risk move from the team’s perspective.


Cafardo On Red Sox, Cabrera, Okajima, Quentin

Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington will focus on trying to fix his team’s pitching from top to bottom this offseason, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  Since drafting Jon Lester in 2002, the only major league starting pitchers the Red Sox have developed are Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront, and Justin Masterson.  And while they had good luck with relievers Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard, Craig Hansen and Michael Bowden didn't work out as well.  When it comes to grooming their pitchers of the future, Cafardo suggests that the Red Sox should reach out to Rick Peterson to help steer the ship.  Here's more from today's column..

  • If Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera doesn't have any additional fallout relating to his 50-game suspension, GMs that were asked said they would look at him as a one-year contract possibility.  However, one GM noted that “If there’s competition for him, someone will go multiyear.
  • Former Red Sox left-hander Hideki Okajima is in Japan and trying to work his way back to the majors.  Okajima is pitching extremely well in Japan, where many thought he wanted to stay, but  he wants another shot at the majors and may get it.
  • Carlos Quentin's contract is very reasonable for the small-market Padres, but they could still be open to moving him this offseason.  Quentin inked a three-year, $27MM extension with the club in July that includes a $10MM mutual option for 2016.
  • One veteran talent evaluator thinks many teams missed the boat on acquiring Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano.  While he’s not the centerpiece of any lineup he would be a good left field option for a team seeking a righthanded middle-of-the-order bat.
  • The Cubs will likely make a push for Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan, bullpen coach Gary Tuck, and possibly even bench coach Tim Bogar.  However, Bogar might prefer to stay in Boston.