The Boston Red Sox today agreed to terms with left-handed pitcher Hideki Okajima on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract for the 2010 season, thus avoiding salary arbitration.
The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein.
According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, the deal is worth $2.075 million. He will receive bonuses of $50,000 each for 55, 60, 65, and 70 appearances.
Okajima, 34, went 6-0 with a 3.39 ERA (23 ER/61.0 IP) in a career-high 68 appearances in 2009. He finished third among qualifying American League pitchers and sixth in the Majors allowing just 16.2 percent (6 of 37) of inherited runners to score. He also tied for fifth in the AL with 24 holds and leads the Major Leagues with 74 since the start of the 2007 campaign.
Signed by the Red Sox as an international free agent on November 30, 2006, Okajima is 12-4 with six saves and a 2.72 ERA (58 ER/192.0 IP) in three Major League seasons with Boston. He has made at least 60 appearances in each of his first three seasons, becoming just the fifth AL left-hander ever to do so.
He made one scoreless appearance (0.1 IP) in the 2009 postseason and has a 2.11 ERA (5 ER/21.1 IP) in 17 career playoff games, the most ever by a pitcher born in Japan.
The final day before salary arbitration filings is tomorrow. See The Biz of Baseball's salary arbitration filing tracker for more details.
Source: Boston Red Sox
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