Yankees

Yankees Sign Hideki Okajima To Minor League Deal

Former Red Sox Reliever Joins Yankees
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(credit: Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

(credit: Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN) - The New York Yankees have agreed to a minor-league contract with former Boston Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima according to the team’s official website.

The deal will include a spring training invite.  Okajima will have an opportunity to compete for a place on the Yankees’ Opening Day roster.

Brian Cashman has maintained long-term interest in adding an additional left-handed reliever to the Yankees’ major league roster.  Okajima could help take the load off lefty-specialst Boone Logan.  In 2011, Logan appeared in 64 games.  He logged 41.2 innings pitched and recorded a 3.46 ERA.

The 36-year old Okajima suffered through a down year in 2011.  He spent most of the 2011 season in Triple-A Pawtucket and only pitched 8.1 innings at the big league level for the Red Sox.  Okajima was 1-o with an ERA of 4.32.

His numbers have taken a steady decline since his debut season in Boston where appeared in 66 games, throwing 69.0 innings and registered an ERA of 2.22.

Cashman and the Yankees will be hoping that Okajima can rediscover the ability that made him an elite left-hander in 2007 where he was selected to the American League All-Star team.

In additional to Logan and Okajima, the Yankees selected former Red Sox prospect Cesar Cabral in the Rule 5 Draft from the Kansas City Royals.  The 22-year old left-hander pitched 38.1 innings for Boston’s Double-A affiliate in Portland.

Yankees fans: Will Okajima make a useful addition? Do you expect him to make the Yankees’ 2012 Opening Day roster?  Share your thoughts below…

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