Athletics rumors: Oakland considering Hideki Okajima

Rob Carr

The A's are contemplating signing the former Red Sox left-hander as a bullpen option.

The Oakland Athletics are considering adding Japanese left-hander Hideki Okajima, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Multiple sources told The Chronicle that the A's are considering signing former Red Sox left-hander Hideki Okajima...

He spent last season with Fukuoka in Japan, putting up an 0.94 ERA in 56 appearances.

Okajima, 37, spent five seasons in the Red Sox's bullpen before returning to Japan last year. The southpaw put up elite numbers in his first three years with Boston -- posting a 2.72 ERA and 8.3 K/9 rate in 192 innings -- but struggled with the base on balls in his final two campaigns.

The left-hander posted a 4.50 ERA in 46 innings for the Sox in 2010, then threw just 8⅓ in 2011 before he was surprisingly demoted to Triple-A. Once in the minors, Okajima reverted to form -- posting a 2.29 ERA and 1.6 BB/9 rate in 51 innings -- but Boston never called him back up to the big-league squad.

Considering the stellar numbers he put up with Fukuoka in 2012, any contract he'll sign with an MLB club will likely be a major-league one.

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