A’s Land Hideki Okajima on MiLB Contract
On the day that the A’s pitchers and catchers reported to Phoenix for Spring Training, the A’s signed left-handed pitcher Hideki Okajima to a minor-league contract with an invite to big league camp today. Formerly of the Boston Red Sox, Okajima spent the 2012 season in his native Japan with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks where he posted a 0.94 ERA in 47 2/3 innings across 56 appearances. He had an exceptional 6.0 K/BB ratio, backed by 6.8 K/9 and 1.1 BB/9 with 0.2 HR/9. In his career with the Red Sox which spanned 2007 to 2011, he has posted a 3.11 ERA with a 3.86 FIP in 246 1/3 innings and 261 appearances with 7.9 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and 1.0 HR/9.
Okajima joins lefties Jerry Blevins, Sean Doolittle and a recovered from injury Jordan Norberto in the bullpen. It is sort of unclear how the entire bullpen will shake out but I can’t imagine a scenario where the A’s carry four lefties. Presently it’d seem those three would be on the squad, but another lefty Pedro Figueroa could also make waves.