Well, That Was Just Mean

What’s worse than teasing Sox fans with a playful headline like the "Red Sox sign Japenese pitcher — not that one" gem published by the AP?

When my e-mail alert only has enough room for the e-mail headline to read: "Red Sox sign Japanese pitche …"

Thanks for that. Now I need new pants.

The deal for Hideki Okajima looks like a good one, considering the amount of money teams like the Orioles are throwing around (Chad Bradford? You’re really going to go there?) — 2 years, $2.5 million with a third-year option for a 30-year-old lefty reliever with decent stats. It’s nice, too, to see a contract figure that doesn’t make my eyes bleed.

The big question, of course, is whether Okajima can make the transition to U.S. ball. On that, we’ll just have to wait and see. This profile, courtesy of the Globe, sounds promising though. Considering the crapshoot that middle relief tends to be — and also considering the need to make Matsuzaka’s transition as smooth as possible — it’s hard not to like this signing.

18 comments… add one

  • Can’t ever go wrong with bullpen guys that, on the surface, seem pretty good. Besides, this gives Matsuzuka a friend on the team, with whom he will probably feel more comfortable around than being alone in this new environment.

    Brad November 30, 2006, 7:30 pm
  • Yeah, and who knows? He could be better then a LOOGY, at least for a few months.

    desturbd1 November 30, 2006, 7:47 pm
  • Is there anyone left to play over there in Japan at this point? Why do i get this feeling that Bobby Valentine is going to be pinch hitting himself next season…..if he isn’t starting.

    YF November 30, 2006, 7:56 pm
  • or, he’s hoping like hell that all these players he’s so heavily endorsed turn out to be great, and he works his way right back into a duggout in the next year or two.

    Brad November 30, 2006, 8:03 pm
  • Well…Matsuzaka wasn’t Japan’s best starting pitcher in 2006. That honor went to Kazumi Saito, who just barely edged Matsuzaka in wins (18-5 vs 17-5) K’s (205 to 200, though Matsuzaka threw like 24 fewer innings) ERA (1.75-2.13) and shutouts (5-2).
    But unlike Matsuzaka, Saito hasn’t shown much of an interest in coming to the MLB, and, according to this, has great loyalty to his team.
    The big difference that I see between the two, is that while Matsuzaka has been dominant for years, and just keeps getting better…a quick look at thebaseballcube.com shows that the 28-year-old Saito’s season sort of came out of nowhere. I mean he was solid in 05…but not sub-2 ERA solid. And, looking at the IP, he seems to have been battling injuries for most of his career.

    desturbd1 November 30, 2006, 8:10 pm
  • Terms of Okajima’s deal have been announced. $2.5MM guaranteed for 2 years, $1.75MM option for 2009. This looks FANTASTIC; he should be Jamie Walker at a minimum, and could be much better. Epstein said he expects him to be a setup man and occasional LOOGY. Sounds right to me.
    Great move Theo.

    desturbd1 November 30, 2006, 8:16 pm
  • Yeah, that’s good money considering what other guys are getting this year – does this guy even have an agent? Holy crap.
    Even if he is just a loogy, it’s a good deal. Plus, having this guy is almost a certainty that I never see Tavarez pitching to Giambi in the eigth inning.

    Brad November 30, 2006, 8:42 pm
  • …this is watering down the t-shirt market darn it…

    dc November 30, 2006, 9:43 pm
  • haha

    Brad November 30, 2006, 9:47 pm
  • According to some reports…Okajima turned down several more lucrative offers to sign with Boston. This allegedly included the Yankees.
    Bwahaha.

    desturbd1 November 30, 2006, 11:55 pm
  • desturbd, has any of that made its way to the web, so as to be LINKable?

    Adam (SF) December 1, 2006, 12:49 am
  • Was gonna find the link after I got out of the shower, as I heard from someone who seemed somewhat trustworthy that he got his info from Fox Sports…last time I listen to that guy.
    Don’t normally talk unsubstantiated shit…my apologies. Got a little excited, I guess.
    I’ll give you something else, though…which is completely unrelated, but whatever. :)
    According to the Globe, the Sox are leaning towards offering Nixon arbitration, which could mean Manny really is on his way out…and Boras is asking for a 6/$72MM deal for Matsuzaka. Which completely flies in the face of everything I’ve ever heard anywhere else…namely, that Boras’ dream is to get him a 3-year deal and a clause where Boston would waive their right to salary arbitration, giving Matsuzaka his FA three seasons early.
    Also, THT projects Pena as the player under 26 most likely to have a breakout year. Heh.

    desturbd1 December 1, 2006, 1:40 am
  • Seems like a good signing by the Sox. Not much risk, decent upside. I’d have been happy had the Yanks done this.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) December 1, 2006, 8:35 am
  • Theo’s worst choices have been in the bullpen. Here’s hoping this Hideki is more like Irabu than Matsui.

    john December 1, 2006, 9:52 am
  • The AP (don’t have the link on me) also reports that other teams made more lucrative offers, but that the Red Sox were the most persistent and offered first…

    Paul SF December 1, 2006, 10:37 am
  • Boras is reportedly seeking 6 years/12 mil per for Matsuzaka.
    I think in the end it will be around 10 mil per with incetives for another 3 or 4 mil per.

    TJ December 1, 2006, 11:42 am
  • If I’m a Kobe beef salesman I’m calling Theo right now.

    nate December 1, 2006, 11:47 am
  • At 12 mil per it seems a bit cheap. Especially at that length.. seems like he really wants to get this done..

    Lar December 1, 2006, 1:06 pm

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