It wasn’t that long ago that Hideki Okajima was one of the premier set up men in the game. He was awesome in 2007 and 2008, good but declining in 2009 and then 2010 was a bit of a disappointment. Of course with Bobby Jenks in the fold, they no longer need Okajima to set up so that’s probably why they locked him up to a one year deal rather then see him go back to Japan. I’d say he’ll probably be used as a left handed specialist, but left handers were pretty effective against him in 2010 (.284) after three years of shutting them down.
Still, I like this move. It’s probably going to be low cost, and it gives the Red Sox some insurance in the pen in the event something happens to Jenks or Jonathan Papelbon. Best case, he finds his old form, reverses his declining strikeout and walk trends, and gives the Red Sox a third lights out option out of the pen. Worst case, he gets a little better against lefties then he was in 2010 and he pitches to a left handed batter or two every game.
I can’t think of any reason why someone would dislike the moves the Red Sox have made this offseason. Red Sox tickets are usually tough to come by but my guess is, they’ll be even tougher to nab this year.
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