Yankees sign Hideki Okajima to a minor league deal


If the Yankees feature a second lefty in the 2012 bullpen, they’ll do so on the cheap. Earlier in the off-season they signed Mike O’Connor and selected Cesar Cabral in the Rule 5 Draft, and now they’ve added Hideki Okajima to the list of non-roster spring training invitees (via David Waldstein). Okajima pitched well for the Red Sox in 2007 and 2008 before declining steadily. He missed some time in 2010 with a lower back injury, which might explain his horrible performance. Last season went a bit better, though it was mostly spent in AAA. The chance of Okajima making the Opening Day roster is slim, but he’s as good a bet on a minor league deal as any.

Categories : Asides


  1. Peter R says:

    I hope he is our Ace Aceves this year….though Aces got a major league deal didn’t he? That is the main reason he left the Yanks?

  2. Mike Axisa says:

    Oh sure they have money for this, but not to sign our lord and savior Edwin Jackson.

  3. John in Ithaca says:

    This I can live with. Low risk anyway.

  4. Sal says:

    He will dominate. This how these signings go. A reliver will suck for a couple of years and then they go back to pitch great and so on and so forth.

  5. Peter R says:

    Need to go sign Mike Myers again. Loved that guy on the roster.

  6. BK2ATL says:

    Edwin Jackson???

    You mean, 10 year, $253 million dollar man Prince Fielder, right? Surely we have the money to sign him too, then we could have Texeira on the bench to pinch-hit and become backup 1B and 3B. No need to bring back Chavez. Just Andruw Jones.

    Boom. Problem solved. #28 in 2012….j/k.

    Nah, seriously. This signing has potential. I’m sure they did their due diligence on his back woes. Since he improved in AAA in 2011, maybe he’s clear of the injury, which is why they took a flyer on him???

    I like this move much more than signing someone like Mike Gonzalez for 2-3 years.

    Also Cabral appeared to be pretty effective in winter ball. Maybe between these two we could eke out another LOOGY….

  7. YanksFan says:

    Great signing, we were short our quota of Hideki’s.

    Maybe he can entice Nakajima to sign. Then he can be buddies with Hiroyuki.

    In all seriousness – another pithcer to throw against the wall to see what sticks is great to have. 1 or 2 more for the pen or rotation will probably come in the next month.

  8. CJ says:

    Bring back bart Colon for $4m and call it an offseason

    • John in Ithaca says:

      Why not? He was pretty good until he ran out of steam cells… … …get it? That was pretty bad I guess. Sorry. But I really could live with another year of Bartolo Colon.

  9. MannyGeee says:

    butbutbutbutbut….. Bobby Valentine and the Asian Influence!!!!!!


  10. Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

    Minor league deal? Sure.

  11. Gonzo says:

    So, the $100k minor league bonus thing in the new CBA counts if he stays on the minor league roster, right? Does that money count towards the luxury threshold?

    I wouldn’t think so, but I wanted to clarify.

  12. Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

    I can see nothing wrong with signing Okajima to a Minor League contract. There may come a time when he strikes out Gonzalez and Ortiz in the late innings of an important game. Hey, you never know.

  13. nedro says:

    Is this the guy who gave up A-rod’s game-winner in that epic Burnett/Beckett extra-innings showdown back in ’09? What a goat.

  14. Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost says:

    I guess I have to stop making jokes about the Red Sox picking up our sloppy seconds now.

  15. Nathan says:

    I don’t really see the risk as it’s a minor league deal. If he reverts back to the old Okajima, great…he’ll give the Yankees another lefty option.

    If not, no biggie.

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