Hideki Okajima Rumors
It's been a tumultuous few weeks for the Red Sox and their fans, and this array of links can speak to that...
- Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald writes that the ownership trio of John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino deserve some of the blame for Terry Francona's departure from Boston.
- Boston's brass doesn't want to comment on the possibility of GM Theo Epstein winding up with the Cubs, says the Boston Herald's Scott Lauber, but until they address the situation or until Chicago hires someone, the potential is there.
- Ken Rosenthal quotes a rival GM who says that when the Red Sox are in crisis mode, "all bets are off," meaning that they could conceivably let Epstein interview for the Cubs' position (Twitter link).
- In a second tweet, Rosenthal relays a thought from another GM: what could Epstein fetch in return from the Cubs after the White Sox netted two minor leaguers for Ozzie Guillen?
- Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe wonders if Epstein is the next to head through the Red Sox "spin cycle." Abraham discusses the possibility of Epstein going to the Cubs, and the intriguing possibility of him hiring Francona as his manager there.
- In the same piece, Abraham notes that if Epstein were to leave the Red Sox, senior vice president and assistant GM Ben Cherington would be a logical replacement. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith looked at Cherington as a GM candidate back in August.
- Still in Abraham's article, David Ortiz says he wants to return to the Red Sox in 2012 and beyond, and that Boston fans "don't deserve what we offered them."
- Hideki Okajima, Drew Sutton, and Dennys Reyes, join yesterday's list of minor leaguers who officially declared free agency, according to Abraham.
Reliever Hideki Okajima, currently pitching for Boston's Triple-A affiliate, says that his future beyond this season is up in the air, writes Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal. Okajima will consider his options, including retirement.
"I don't know what I'm going to be doing next season," Okajima said through an interpreter. "I might retire. I might go back to Japan. I might be over here again. I'm not really sure. I just have to see where the offseason takes me once I get there."
After being clearing waivers and accepting a Triple-A assignment in May, the veteran said that he would like to be traded. In 34 appearances for the Pawtucket Red Sox this season, Okajima has a 2.29 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9.
Red Sox lefty Hideki Okajima is hoping for a trade, he told Michael Vega of the Boston Globe. Okajima has been pitching in Triple-A since clearing waivers on May 24th. He told Vega through an interpreter he'd rather not be called up to the Red Sox following Rich Hill's injury. Perhaps he didn't enjoy being used sparingly while in the bigs.
Okajima, 36, has excelled in eight Triple-A appearances this year. It appears that the Red Sox explored the trade market for him a couple of weeks ago when he was designated for assignment, and found no takers.
Red Sox lefty Hideki Okajima cleared waivers and accepted a Triple-A assignment, tweets Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. Okajima had been designated for assignment on Thursday to clear a spot for Franklin Morales.
As WEEI's Alex Speier noted four days ago, Okajima has had a rough year but does not regret re-signing with the Red Sox in January.
The Red Sox made a pair of moves yesterday and won again, boosting their record to a season-best 23-20. Here’s the latest on Boston as they prepare to take on the Cubs...
- If recent signing Kevin Millwood reaches the Major Leagues, he’ll earn a pro-rated portion of $500K, plus incentives, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. In other words, he's guaranteed slightly more than the MLB minimum.
- If the Rockies had sent Franklin Morales to the Pirates instead of the Red Sox, Colorado would have asked for a prospect rather than former Rockie Joe Beimel, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
- The Red Sox designated Hideki Okajima for assignment to create roster space for Morales, but the Japanese left-hander says re-signing in Boston this offseason was not a mistake, according to Speier.
The Red Sox have acquired Rockies left-hander Franklin Morales for a player to be named later or cash considerations, according to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald (via Twitter). In order to make room for Morales, Hideki Okajima has been designated for assignment by the BoSox.
Boston has until November to either agree on a player in the Morales trade or pay a nominal amount of money to the Rockies, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.
Morales was ranked as the eighth-best prospect in baseball by Baseball America prior to the 2008 season. The left-hander throws the ball extremely hard as evidenced by his 94.4 mph fastball last year. Across parts of five big league seasons, he owns a 4.83 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9.
The 25-year-old is out of options and the Rockies have reportedly been concerned about losing him to waivers. Yesterday we learned that the Rockies were measuring trade interest in Morales as well as fellow fireballer Felipe Paulino.
With apologies to the Dropkick Murphys, let's ship up to Boston for some news from the (presumptive) AL East favorites...
- Mike Stanton hit two homers and drove in seven runs against the Red Sox today in Grapefruit League play, prompting WEEI.com's Alex Speier to recall how the Sox pursued Stanton two seasons ago. When the Red Sox were trying to deal Manny Ramirez in 2008, they attempted to arrange a multi-team trade that would have seen both Stanton and Jason Bay end up in Boston. The Marlins, however, weren't interested in dealing their young slugger.
- Hideki Okajima isn't used to having to fight for a bullpen job, but the Japanese left-hander is determined to stay on the roster, writes MLB.com's Ian Browne.
- Boston's regular lineup is heavy with left-handed hitters, but Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com thinks the offense will be potent enough to overcome the lefty-righty disparity.
- Speaking of Edes, he took part in a fan chat on ESPN Boston today discussing such topics as Lars Anderson's trade value, whether the Red Sox may try to acquire a catcher, and the futures of both David Ortiz and Terry Francona in Boston.
On this date last year, the Yankees signed Chan Ho Park. After surrendering seven homers in 35 1/3 innings of 5.60 ERA ball, the Yankees cut Park loose. He joined the Pirates for the rest of 2010 and will spend the 2011 season pitching for the Orix Buffaloes. Here's the latest from the AL East:
- The Red Sox can option Hideki Okajima to the minor leagues if they prefer the work of their other lefties this spring, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Southpaws Andrew Miller, Felix Doubront, Rich Hill, Dennys Reyes and Andrew Miller are all vying for roster spots.
- Speier also suggests Doubront will "almost surely" open the season at Triple-A.
- If you ask Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Carl Crawford has some adjustments to make, even though he's still playing left field for an AL East contender. The Red Sox are always in the spotlight, so playing in Boston will likely present different challenges than the ones Crawford encountered in Tampa Bay.
- Did the Yankees release Andy Sisco or not? As Matt Eddy of Baseball America explains, they released and re-signed the left-hander (Twitter link).
The Red Sox signed left-hander Hideki Okajima to a one-year deal worth $1.75MM, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. The deal includes $550K in incentives and allows Okajima to become a free agent at the end of the 2011 season, Crasnick reports. (all Twitter links). The Pirates, Mets, Rays, Blue Jays and A's all showed interest in the Joe Rosen client after the Red Sox non-tendered him in December.
Okajima, 35, has seen his performance decline in his four big league seasons. He followed up his 2.22 ERA as a rookie in 2007 with a 2.61 ERA in 2008 then a 3.39 ERA in 2009 and finally a 4.50 ERA in 2010. His strikeout rate was a career low 6.5 K/9 this past season while the walk rate was a career worst 3.9 BB/9. Okajima did miss time this summer with back stiffness, so perhaps that's to blame.
The Red Sox have been in the market for a lefty reliever, and were recently said to have interest in Brian Fuentes. Although lefties hit .284/.357/.375 off Okajima in 2010, the funky southpaw has held them to a .217/.271/.320 batting line in his career.
Links for Sunday....
- SI.com's Jon Heyman says the "word is" that the Nationals offered Zack Greinke a big contract extension in an effort to entice him to join their team (Twitter links). He simply didn't believe the Nats could win, so he instead waived his no-trade clause to go to the Brewers.
- A source told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Rangers and Rockies have not had any serious talks about Michael Young in the last week, so if he does get traded, it will likely be to a team that did not show much interest in him at the Winter Meetings (Twitter links).
- Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News offers a "semi-educated guess" that if the Rangers do sign Adrian Beltre, they'll shift Young to a DH/utility role rather than trade him (Twitter link).
- NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman passes along a Japanese report that has the Orix Buffaloes set to acquire Evan MacLane from the Cardinals. An official announcement is expected soon.
- Cole Hamels and the Phillies haven't yet begun discussions for a multiyear extension, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. As MLBTR's Tim Dierkes noted when he examined the Phillies' four aces, Hamels is arbitration eligible after next season and can become a free agent after 2012.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider required) shares a list of 36 potential MLB storylines for 2011. Olney's list includes the Albert Pujols negotiations, Heath Bell trade talks, and C.C. Sabathia's out clause.
- The Jason Bartlett trade potentially opened up a spot on the 25-man roster for long-time Rays' farmhand Elliot Johnson, according to Joe Smith of the St. Petersburg Times.
- WEEI's Rob Bradford and Alex Speier attempt to determine whether Hideki Okajima is likely to rebound for the Red Sox in 2011.
- Roch Kubatko of MASN can't see the Orioles signing a full-time DH now that Derrek Lee is on board.
- Police say Alfredo Simon is the primary suspect in a fatal shooting in the Dominican Republic, reports the Associated Press (via the Miami Herald). Simon insists he was not involved in the incident, according to Orioles Dominican representative Felipe Alou Jr.