BOSTON (CBS) – A Major League source has confirmed to WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche that the Red Sox won’t tender a contract to reliever Hideki Okajima, thus making him a free agent.
ESPN.com first reported the story.
The left-hander struggled with both his stuff and confidence last season. He appeared in 56 games in 2010, pitching 46 innings while giving up 59 hits, 23 earned runs, while walking 20 and striking out only 33. He went 4-4 with a 4.50 ERA.
The 34-year-old was a spectacular find for Theo Epstein and his baseball ops staff prior to last season.
In his first year here (2007), Okie was an All-Star and finished sixth in the Rookie-of-the-Year voting. That season he appeared in 66 games going 3-2, with a 2.22 ERA and 5 saves. In 69 innings, he gave up only 50 hits and 17 earned runs while walking 17 and striking out 63. He also was a huge part of a bullpen that helped the Sox win a World Series.
Okajima went 3-2 with a 2.61 ERA in 64 games in 2008 and 6-0 with a 3.39 ERA in 68 games in 2009.
He made $2.75 million last season.