Hideki Okajima Wants Out of Boston


The Red Sox left-handed relief pitching depth is being tested this week. Yesterday, there were reports that lefty reliever Rich Hill will need to have Tommy John surgery and his season is likely over and then more news came out of Pawtucket before their game last night. Hideki Okajima told reporters that he wants to be traded from the Boston Red Sox franchise after being dropped from the 40-man roster, because he was disappointed and wants to play in the bigs. “Being taken off the 40-man, to me, means the team no longer needs me. So I’m just looking to move on with my career at this point.” The Okajima storyline has been a large roller-coaster since the end of the 2010 season and frankly, Okie should be happy that he was signed by the Boston Red Sox.

After the 2010 season, Okie became a free agent. The Red Sox did not resign the lefty because he had a rocky season and was not as effective on the mound as his 1st few seasons in 2007 and 2008. After some time, the Red Sox realized that they will need more depth in the lefty-relief role and signed Okie to a 1-year, $1.75 million deal to provide depth and protection. The Red Sox had reason to be concerned about resigning Okie, because his ERA and BB numbers have increased over the last few seasons and he has become less effective in match-up situations. That being said, the one thing Theo Epstein knows is that there is a need for pitching depth at all levels, just in case.

After beginning the season in the minors, Okie received his opportunity to return to the majors on April 19th and proceeded to allow 3 earned runs in 0.2 innings on 2 hits and a BB. After that performance, he appeared in 6 games over 3-weeks, but his fate was sealed and he returned to the minors during the 2nd week of May. He did not return to the majors and with the trade for lefty Franklin Morales, Okie’s fate was further sealed and he was recently removed from the 40-man roster. His chance at returning to the majors isn’t completely gone, but there is a decreasing likelihood he will not be seen on the Boston mound again, especially after his comments yesterday.

Will the Red Sox make Okie happy and trade him? If they do, will you miss Okie? Let us know your thoughts.

For all the latest news and analysis from BoSox Injection, follow us on TwitterFacebook, or with our RSS feed.