By Matt Snyder
Friday, the Yankees lost some left-handed relief pitching depth when Hideki Okajima failed his physical and was released. Saturday, they appear to have zeroed in on his replacement. The Yankees are near an agreement with Clay Rapada on a minor-league contract and invitation to spring training, MLB.com reports.
Rapada is a 30-year-old left-hander. In parts of five big-league seasons, he's appeared in 78 games and compiled a 5.13 ERA and 1.48 WHIP. Last season, for the Orioles, he had a 6.06 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 18 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings. He was designated for assignment from the Orioles as a corresponding move to their trading Jeremy Guthrie to the Rockies for Matt Lindstrom and Jason Hammel.
Rapada would likely spend most of his time in the minors as a backup option in case Boone Logan gets hurt. Most ballclubs -- especially in the AL -- really only need one lefty in the 'pen, so Logan will serve as the primary option.
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