Hideki Okajima Rumors
Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe breaks down the 2010 Red Sox and what members of the team may not be around for 2011. He says Jayson Werth will be a free agent target and wonders if they're willing to commit three or four years to Adrian Beltre, who is having a monster season. Jacoby Ellsbury and Daisuke Matsuzaka could be trade bait, and then there's the issue of David Ortiz's $12.5MM option.
Let's round up the rest of Cafardo's rumors...
- There have been "minimal, if any" talks between the Sox and Victor Martinez about a new contract.
- Expect Boston to revamp their bullpen, which could mean replacing Hideki Okajima.
- Carfado believes that the Rangers settled ownership situation will help the team down the stretch as the players don't have to deal with any speculation.
- Rafael Soriano and Joaquin Benoit, a pair of offseason pickups that are the Rays' two best relievers, will need to have their workloads monitored down the stretch, particularly Benoit who is coming off major shoulder surgery.
- The Angels have close to $110MM tied up in 2011 payroll counting arbitration raises, which could hinder their pursuit of free agents this winter.
- Kenny Williams says that teams never asked for Dayan Viciedo in a trade because they knew he was unavailable. We heard that Williams was willing to trade him before the deadline.
- A split between the Mariners and manager Don Wakamatsu seems likely this offseason.
The Red Sox and reliever Hideki Okajima have agreed to terms on a one-year deal, reports Ian Browne of MLB.com (via Twitter). Okajima will make $2.75MM and will receive bonuses of $50K each for 50, 55, 60, 65, and 70 appearances, according to Browne in a follow-up tweet. The deal marks a significant raise for the lefty as he earned a base salary of $1.25MM last season.
In 2009, Okajima posted a 3.39 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 68 games. The 34-year-old is entering his fourth major league season and will be under the BoSox contractual control until 2012.
Links for Monday...
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan wonders if Bobby Crosby could be a match for the Rangers as a utility infielder.
- MLB.com's Mychael Urban has an update on free agent lefty Mark Mulder.
- Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball analyzes Tim Lincecum's possible 2010 salary, and predicts the pitcher might submit $16.8MM against the Giants' $8MM figure.
- ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that Hideki Matsui's marketability is not a factor for the Yankees.
- Alex Speier of WEEI examines the chances of Roy Halladay remaining a workhorse over the next several seasons.
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch doesn't see geography as a big factor for Matt Holliday. Meanwhile, Bernie Miklasz of the P-D doesn't understand Albert Pujols' reasoning as to why he needs to wait to discuss an extension.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart asks readers to predict the Astros' arbitration decisions for free agents. Jose Valverde and LaTroy Hawkins are tough calls in that it makes sense but we're not sure if the Astros will. We'll have predictions on all Type A/B free agents later today.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel explains why he feels only Felipe Lopez will get an arbitration offer from the Brewers.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says the Marlins are leaning against offering arbitration to Type B free agents Kiko Calero and Nick Johnson. Calero might be worth it.
- Jon Weisman of Dodgers Thoughts says the Dodgers' arbitration decisions won't necessarily be influenced by the McCourts' divorce.
- Staying with this theme, FanGraphs' Dave Cameron looks at the factors that should influence a team's arbitration-offer decision.
- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports look at the market for Miguel Tejada.
- Morosi suggests ten teams that should talk to the Tigers about Miguel Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, and Edwin Jackson.
- Jacob Jackson of Athletics Nation has a detailed offseason plan for the A's.
- Righty Miguel Batista told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times that he has a few contenders interested in his services.
- Notes from NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman: the Orioles are eyeing pitcher Hisanori Takahashi, and Hideki Okajima would like a contract extension (he's under team control through 2012 as an arbitration-eligible player).
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the fates of Jeff Karstens, Robinzon Diaz, and Justin Thomas will be decided today.
- Elmer Dessens doesn't have a contract with the Mets quite yet, writes Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News.
Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald shares a few of his thoughts about the Red Sox hot stove. Here are some highlights:
- With Jed Hoyer taking the reins as the Padres' GM and Kevin Towers having been offered a position in Boston, Silverman thinks Adrian Gonzalez trade talks will restart in the offseason. Given how well Hoyer knows the Red Sox farm system, talks could progress faster than they have in the past.
- Silverman says, though, that Hoyer's history with Boston doesn't necessarily mean a trade will happen. He points to former Epstein assistant and current Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes, and notes that Arizona and Boston haven't made a significant deal since Byrnes was hired.
- If the Padres decide to hang on to Gonzalez, the Red Sox could potentially turn to Prince Fielder or Miguel Cabrera in their search for a power-hitting corner infielder.
- Jacoby Ellsbury's below average defense in center (he posted a -12.3 UZR/150 in 2009) has the Red Sox thinking of moving him to left field.
- If the team were to move Ellsbury to left (Silverman doesn't expect they will), it would be more difficult to find a replacement center fielder than a left fielder. Silverman thinks Boston should keep an eye on Carlos Beltran's situation in New York, given the Mets' struggles this year and the fact that Beltran would likely only be about $2MM more expensive per season than someone like Jason Bay.
- Hideki Okajima is eligible for arbitration, but his contract states that he must be made an offer by November 10, so expect that to happen within a couple weeks.
Links for Thursday...
- Bad news for D'Backs fans: top prospect Jarrod Parker is headed for Tommy John surgery. Reynolds Sports Management broke the news via their Twitter feed, check it out.
- Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima has dismissed agent Peter Greenberg in favor of Boston-based Joe Rosen, according to a Japanese report passed along by NPB Tracker's Ryo Shinkawa. Shinkawa takes this as a sign Okajima wants to stay with the Red Sox. He is already under team control through 2012 as an arbitration-eligible player.
- Yusei Kikuchi's NPB-vs.-MLB decision seems to be coming within a few days, says Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker.
- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is nearing his decision on whether to manage in 2010, says Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says that "if La Russa manages next season, it will be with the Cardinals."
- Mark McGwire told The Sporting News' Jeff D'Alessio that Albert Pujols would be worth $30MM+ as a free agent.
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star feels the Royals should consider trading closer Joakim Soria.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis believes it's not far-fetched to think Bryce Harper could fall out of the first round in 2010 due to financial demands (hat tip River Ave. Blues).
- MLB.com's Matthew Leach and Jon Weisman of Dodgers Thoughts expect GM Ned Colletti to focus on the rotation this winter.
According to WEEI's Alex Speier, when Hideki Okajima's 2009 vesting option triggered it also guaranteed that the reliever is under team control through 2012 if the Red Sox want him. There had been some debate about whether Okajima would become arbitration-eligible after his current contract; the answer is yes.
Also, WEEI's Rob Bradford notes that J.D. Drew is entering the phase in his five-year contract where certain injury situations would allow the Sox to void the last two years of this deal. It seems unlikely, though.
Links for Saturday...
- As more teams lock up lefty relievers, Jon Paul Morosi sees the Tigers as more likely to land Joe Beimel.
- Tom Haudricourt has heard that Ben Sheets is more likely to sign with the Rangers, who have Mike Maddux campaigning for them, than the Yankees.
- Peter Schmuck hears that the Orioles have signed catcher Chad Moeller to a minor league deal.
- Ken Davidoff writes that the Yankees shouldn't concern themselves with Andy Pettitte just yet.
- Dave Perkins of the Toronto Star doesn't like the Yankees' aggressive spending.
- Jack Curry of the New York Times writes that the Yankees are instant favorites for the World Series.
- Another New York Times writer, Ben Shpigel, writes that the Mets especially need Oliver Perez now that the Phillies have signed Raul Ibanez.
- RotoAuthority breaks down the re-vamped San Francisco bullpen for fantasy baseball purposes.
- Matt Clement's optimistic about his fresh start with the Jays.
- Two players re-signed with their clubs after being non-tendered: Norris Hopper of the Reds and Scott Mathieson of the Phils.
- Hideki Okajima will run a marathon Sunday, and the Red Sox aren't thrilled.
The Red Sox announced Saturday that reliever Hideki Okajima's option has officially vested for next season.
Because he pitched in 115 games this season and last, the Red Sox were bound to pick up Okajima's $1.75 million option for 2009.
Entering Saturday's doubleheader with Toronto, Okajima, 32, has pitched in 123 games over the past two seasons. This season he's got a 2.88 ERA with 52 strikeouts in 56.3 innings. Those are impressive numbers, though he's had a bit of a problem allowing inherited runners to score.
Still, Okajima for $1.75 million is a steal — an absolute no-brainer. Other teams are paying set-up men far more, and have had to hand out long-term contacts, like the Phillies gave to J.C. Romero (three years and $12 million) or the White Sox gave to Scott Linebrink (four years and $19 million).
Oh, and Okajima's got the absolute greatest theme song.
A few pieces of information were revealed today on the failed three team trade that was to send Jermaine Dye to Boston.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox would've had to surrender reliever Hideki Okajima in order to get Dye. Whether Okajima would've ended up with the White Sox or the third club is unknown, but Chicago makes the most sense. Okajima has been absurdly good this year - he's allowed five earned runs in 51.2 innings. The unexpected huge success of he and Takashi Saito should cause MLB teams to sign every Japanese reliever with a functional arm this winter. Of course, the Red Sox refused to give up Okajima to get Dye.
Meanwhile, Buster Olney reported that the third team was the Brewers. RotoWorld speculated that the Red Sox may have been trying to get Derrick Turnbow from Milwaukee. The White Sox might've been eyeing Turnbow as well. Kenny Williams is also known to like Manny Parra.
Many of you have emailed me with the news that the Red Sox have signed a LOOGY, 30 year-old Hideki Okajima from Japan. It is a two-year deal with an option for 2009. The Boston Herald says that while he does not throw hard, his curve is nasty.
Looks like he'll rack up plenty of Ks and will be a good weapon against guys like Jason Giambi, Robinson Cano, Lyle Overbay, Johnny Damon, and Nick Markakis.