Koji Uehara pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings last night and earned his third win of the season, but the appearance carried far more significance, as it triggered his vesting option for the 2014 season.
Uehara's contract was originally reported to be a one-year deal worth $4.25MM, but over the weekend, the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo reported that Uehara has a vesting option, and on Monday, Alex Speier of WEEI.com reported that it is valued at $4.25MM.
Uehara finished his 24th game of the season last night, bringing him within 11 games finished of a clause in his contract that boosts his 2014 salary to $5MM. The 38-year-old right-hander has a very good chance to finish 35 games for the Red Sox this season and make that happen, and the Red Sox will have no problem spending a little extra to keep Uehara around.
In 54 2/3 innings this season, the Osaka native has a 1.32 ERA with 12.3 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9. Uehara's 2.1 wins above replacement (per Fangraphs) are second among relief pitchers, and he leads the Majors in WHIP (0.68) and swinging-strike rate (16.9 percent).