Not only is Matsuzaka in the fold, but it appears another Japanese player is set to sign with Boston. His name is Hideki Okajima, a 30-year old left handed reliever from the Hokkaido Ham Fighters. Career Stats
I like this for many reasons: One, it appears the Orioles are gobbling up every potential setup man on the market without the Sox getting anyone. Secondly, his numbers last season were filthy: 2.14 ERA, 63 K in 54 IP. In addition to Okajima’s effectiveness, I’m willing to bet this is to help Matsuzaka’s transition – a fellow Japanese player speaking the same language and going through the same adjustment period. Also, Okajima is a winner. His team won the Pacific League title last season and played for the Yomuri Giants for almost his entire career.
”I just want to play for a team that gives a high rating to what I’ve done,” Okajima said. ”I’ve got a clear direction regarding my future. I’m in pretty good shape now and I think this is a very good opportunity for me (to play in the major leagues).”