Yankees sign Japanese lefty Naoya Okamoto


Via the great NPB Tracker, the Yankees have signed Japanese southpaw Naoya Okamoto to a minor league contract. The 27-year-old started his career by pitching sparingly for the Yokohama Bay Stars, but spent 2010 in the Mexican League. His overall numbers on the season are underwhelming (17.2 IP, 12 H, 9 R, 7 ER, 11 BB, 12 K, 2 HR), though he did hold lefthanded batters to a cool .000 batting average (yes, super small sample).

The Yanks have a strong presence in Mexico and have enjoyed a ton of success there recently (Al Aceves, Manny Banuelos), so I’m certain they see something here. If nothing else, Okamoto is just another piece of minor league inventory, a depth move, but at best he’s a future option as a lefty specialist. And, you know, if the Yanks manage to acquire Yu Darvish this winter, Okamoto can be his friend (/Michael Kay latent racism’d).

Categories : Asides, Minors, Transactions
  • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

    In fairness to Michael Kay, I don’t think he was the first to create that meme.

    • http://twitter.com/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

      Doesn’t make it any less wrong.

      • NO

        couldnt agree more..

  • Pat D

    Wait, are you saying that Okamoto and Darvish wouldn’t be best of friends just because they’re both Japanese?!?!?! I’ve never heard of such a thing. It’s as if Americans playing in Japan wouldn’t be best friends since they’re both American, since obviously Americans get along with each other always.

    • NO

      You need a lesson in basic logic. Dont take the GRE or any thing that assesses your IQ anytime soon.

      The general statement: ANY two Americans in a foreign country will be best friends ….is just false.

      A counter example will suffice, think of the head of KKK and me…I would hate that guy and he would hate me in any foreign land, even though we are both Americans. Hence, if someone implicitly made a comment suggesting that statement he was at least being prejudiced.

      This does not mean that there cannot be a specific example of two people from the same country being best buddies in a foreign land.

      • Pat D

        Uh…………………that was complete sarcasm.

        I thought my last statement sold that point, but, ok, yea, I’m being too harsh. It is difficult to recognize sarcasm in print.

        • NO

          sorry…totally my bad..i am the one who needs a lesson in getting the spirit of ure remark then.

          With all the stupidity, in general, that I have seen outpoured..just got carried away, my bad. take care man.

          • Pat D

            No problem. Your points are pretty much what I meant, and I just find it fascinating that Michael Kay can’t grasp that concept.

  • Big Stein

    Kenny Powers is burning up the mexican league.

  • Big Stein

    I thought it was over the top last night when Kay said, “no tickie, no winnie” when speaking about Dice-K.

    • Sean

      Especially because that phrase is usually used to make fun of Chinese dry cleaners and Dice is Japanese.

      • Big Stein

        exactly. he should of said something like, “I haven’t seen such a Japanese bombing since pearl harbor”.

  • don draper

    The two Japanese players on the Red Sox(Dice K, and that other guy) do not even talk to each other!

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvVZQnELQ9s nyyankeefanforever

      You mean Okajima? They talk to each other. It’s their respective team-paid translators who aren’t speaking. ;-)