In one of the more maddening moves this past offseason, the Red Sox poached Yankees reliever Alfredo Aceves. Now the Yankees have a chance to pay them back by signing recently DFA’d left handed reliever Hideki Okajima and they should jump at the chance.
First thing is first, there was a reason the Red Sox designated Okajima for assignment – he’s been struggling. He’s not an immediate upgrade over Boone Logan either, but he very well could contribute.
Throughout his career with the Red Sox, Okajima has done very well for himself against lefties, holding them to a .218 average and a .600 OPS. This season he has been struggling against lefties though, they’ve hit .364 with a .916 OPS against him in 2011 so far.
The thing is that is a very short sample size, only 13 plate appearances. There is reason to believe that will go back to normal. First of all, his BABIP against lefties is a bloated .444. That leads us to believe that he’s experienced a fair amount of bad luck.
Other statistics have stayed consistent like his K/9 is 6.48 close to his career 6.75 mark. His BB/9 is up which is likely the reason for his struggles, but his velocity is right where it’s always been. So there is reason to believe that he could work his way back to productivity.
This isn’t a call to replace Logan immediately, or at all, but the Yankees should take a chance and bring in Okajima. They really have nothing to lose as they would only have to pay him the major league minimum. If he would agree to go to the minor leagues for a little while it would make the entire idea an even better situation.
Okajima was just DFA’d last night so the Yankees could be working on something and we might not have heard about it yet. I’ll be sure to keep tabs on this possibility to check back here often for updates one way or another.
What do you think? Should the Yankees go after Okajima? Or are they better off passing on the Japanese lefty?