Tag:Hideki Okajima
Posted on: December 3, 2010 12:28 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:37 am
 

Russell Martin among those non-tendered

The deadline to tender contracts was Thursday night at 11:59 p.m., and here's the players who were not tendered contracts and are now free agents:

A's: Edwin Encarnacion, Jack Cust, Travis Buck

Angels: Kevin Frandsen

Astros: Sammy Gervacio

Blue Jays: Jeremy Accardo, Fred Lewis

Braves: Matt Diaz

Brewers: Todd Coffey, Joe Inglett

Diamondbacks: Blaine Boyer, Ryan Church, Augie Ojeda, D.J. Carrasco

Dodgers: Russell Martin, George Sherrill, Trent Oeltjen

Giants: Eugenio Velez, Chris Ray

Mariners: Ryan Rowland-Smith

Marlins: Jose Veras, Ronny Paulino

Mets: Chris Carter, Sean Green, John Maine

Nationals: Wil Nieves, Joel Peralta, Chein-Ming Wang

Orioles: Matt Albers

Padres: Scott Hairston, Tony Gwynn Jr., Luis Perdomo, Matt Antonelli

Pirates: Lastings Milledge, Argenis Diaz, Donnie Veal, Brian Burres

Rangers: Dustin Nippert

Rays: Lance Cormier, Willy Aybar, Dioner Navarro, J.P. Howell

Red Sox: Hideki Okajima, Taylor Buchholz, Andrew Miller

Rockies: Manny Delcarmen

Royals: Josh Fields

Tigers: Zach Miner

White Sox: Bobby Jenks, Erick Threets

Yankees: Alfredo Aceves, Dustin Mosley

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: August 17, 2010 6:31 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2010 6:33 pm
 

Youkilis wants to return for playoffs

Kevin Youkilis Kevin Youkilis told reporters today that he still hopes to be ready to play in the postseason.

Keep in mind, that's Youkilis talking, not anything doctors have said.

"We don't know the timetable, we have to see when the stitches come out and all that, hopefully I can play in the playoffs," Youkilis said (via WEEI.com ). "I might not be able to play at all, but I'm going to try to give myself the best chance to play int he playoffs if we make it."

That's nearly as big of an if as there may be in the whole deal -- the Red Sox are 5 1/2 games out of both the AL East and the wild card, behind the Yankees and Rays in both.

The Sox are sure to still be in the hunt through September, but another postseason could be a tough feat -- especially without Youkilis. However, the Sox did get Dustin Pedroia back today.

Youkilis, for one, isn't buying into the talk that the Sox are out of the playoff hunt.

"People keep coming up to me and saying, 'These guys have no chance anymore.' I tell them they're wrong," he said. "We've got a great team here. The best part of this whole team is the fact that where we're at, through this whole thing, is remarkable. It's not an ideal thing to the fans out there that we're five-and-a-half games out, but to be five-and-a-half games out with all that's gone on. … it's a great thing to watch."

Still, he hasn't enjoyed watching the Red Sox on TV.

"Sitting at home, it's not good. I wasn't really feeling that good last week. This pain medication, it's not good at all," Youkilis said (via the Providence Journal ). "I got rid of those real quick. I finally got back up to feeling good line on Tuesday. … It's not fun watching baseball, but to be here and be in this environment and be around the guys, it means a lot."

Youkilis said he initially thought he'd just bruised his thumb before test showed a muscle tear. He doesn't know exactly how it happened, but assumes it was when he was hitting.

As for the other injured Sox, Terry Francona told reporters Jacoby Ellsbury had a doctor's appointment to check on his ribs, Mike Cameron is recovering from his sports hernia, Jason Varitek's broken foot is improving and reliever Hideki Okajima threw on Tuesday and could be sent out on a rehab assignment as soon as Sunday.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 31, 2010 2:38 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2010 3:14 pm
 

Red Sox shopping spare parts

The Red Sox are trying to move some spare parts to get players with more of a future on the big-league roster, as ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes reports .

The names?

Manny Delcarmen, Jeremy Hermida, Hideki Okajima, Ramon Ramirez.

Fungible names, all -- but ones that could help a contender down the stretch run.

The Mets have been linked to the Red Sox in the past, primarily for Ramirez. New York likes the idea of taking on a reliever who has a low price attached and seeing if they can turn around his career. Ramirez and Delcarmen have previous success but have fallen on hard times lately. With a switch to the NL alone, both increase in value, nevermind the added possibility of the Mets coaching being able to bring relievers back to prominence.

Okajima is a quality reliever who has struggled with injuries, confidence and loneliness this season. He has two more years left of arbitration, as do Ramirez and Delcarmen. If he can get straighened out, he would go back to being one of the best setup men in the league. One thing that could assist him if he's moved to the NL is his funky delivery, which most AL teams have grown accustomed to by now.

Hermida isn't much of a fielder in the oufield, but is young and has burgeoning power as well as an uncanny knack for driving in runs in tight situations.

If moved, Boston would move to promote players such as outfielder Daniel Nava or Ryan Kalish and relievers Michael Bowden and Dustin Richardson -- along with Felix Doubront, who was just converted to relief .

UPDATE : Kalish is joining the Red Sox, reports WEEI's Alex Speier. No corresponding move is known, although one would imagine it's related to Hermida.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Posted on: July 28, 2010 4:28 pm
 

Red Sox not giving Okajima support he needs

Hideki Okajima When Hideki Okajima blew the game for the Red Sox Sunday by giving up five straight hits and mishandling two bunts, he refused to talk to reporters after the game.

Boston media had a field day with that, saying that Okajima has never been accountable after a bad game. You got the sense that the media was sick of Okajima not talking -- which is his choice, by the way. Nevermind that the players take notice of who stands up after a loss and who doesn't -- it's still his choice.

ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes helped shed a bit of light on Okajima's situation, as the left-hander finally opened up, admitting being homesick for his homeland of Japan.

But that's not all.

Okajima pointed to culture differences between postgame rituals, noting that in Japan, reporters are not allowed in the locker room after the games and have to go through a PR person to request interviews -- and its perfectly acceptable for the PR person to say that a player is not available for comment.

Here in America, reporters barge in 10 minutes after the close of the game and surround players tightly as they try to finish their day's work. Sometimes, it's hard for a player to talk so shortly after such an embarassing scene such as what Okajima went through on Sunday.

"I could not talk about the game," he told Edges. "Mentally, I was down after the loss. I felt it was better to have some time in between to talk, not immediately.

"From the players' standpoint, rather than try to put it in words in that moment, it would be better to get a fresh mind and talk about how you really felt in that situation, but not on that day."

In addition, Okajima battles bouts of loneliness, saying his two confidants are his wife and interpreter -- and that's it. Not even Daisuke Matsuzaka, whom Edes says maintains a professional relationship with the crafter of the Oki-Doki.

And the front office isn't much better in helping Okajima adjust. It is very difficult for a player to transition to a brand-new country with its own customs and languages. While the adjustments and struggles of young Dominicans moving into America for the first time are extraordinarily rough as well, think about how much it takes to adjust for a mid-30s Japanese person. It's not easy, and unfortunately it doesn't seem like the Red Sox are helping.

"I'm kind of alone in [the bullpen]," Okajima says. "There's time to think too much, especially inside the bullpen. It's hard to maintain a strong mentality, especially when you've been hit hard the previous day. There's too much time to think in the bullpen. It would be easier to maintain if there was someone who spoke the same language and you could talk to, but that's not the reality right now."

So why isn't it a reality?

"The stress would be better if there was a Japanese guy in the bullpen," he added. "There is a team rule that doesn't allow it. Some teams allow it. The reality is, Boston doesn't, and I can't change it."

Why?

This is a staggering misstep for the Red Sox if true. This is a team that tries to make transitions to the majors -- whether from out-of-country players to just-drafted to prospects on the cusp of promotion -- as seamless as possible. This is an organization among the best at protecting its players in the maelstrom that is Boston. And yet they won't allow a Japanese person in the bullpen to chit-chat with Okajima? Find one who can catch and have him be a backup catcher, or one who can be an assistant bullpen coach or video coordinator. Something. Anything.

If the aim is to extract the most value from the player as possible, shouldn't everything be done to make the player as comfortable as possible?

Baffling.

No, the Red Sox aren't entirely to blame for this predictament. Okajima's dealing with nagging injuries, hasn't proven himself willing to adjust to American baseball customs or learn some English and has also just been plain bad. But it's the organization's responsibility to do what it can, and if this rule is a team policy that can easily be lifted to ease Okajima's strains, why the heck wouldn't Boston do it?

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: July 25, 2010 9:56 pm
 

Jays asking high price on relievers

Scott Downs The relief market may have just heated up in Boston.

Hideki Okajima continued his worst major-league season to date and was directly responsible for giving up three runs in a Mariners rally on Sunday.

That might be good news for the Blue Jays, who have Jason Frasor, Scott Downs and Kevin Gregg on the market. Downs would give the Red Sox a second lefty in the bullpen -- and their only reliable one. The Jays, however, are asking a ton for Downs.

As FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal says , the price is so high that the Dodgers went scurrying away.

Other teams named in the hunt for one or more of the Jays relievers include the Yankees, Mets, Reds and Twins, says Rosenthal's co-writer, Jon Paul Morosi. None of these names comes as a surprise -- virtually every team in contention every year is always in the market to add more relief pitching.

Toronto won't give away any for pennies on the dollar, though. Frasor is a free agent after the year and should theoretically be the easiest to get. By the same token, however, he's not as sought after as Gregg or Downs. Gregg has an affordable club option for 2011 -- and potentially one for 2012 as well. He's had a successful year closing for the Jays.

Downs, a lefty, has been one of the best setup men in the game for a while and will likely qualify as a Type A free agent. This means that if he signs with another team, the Jays could potentially get a first-round and complementary pick after the first round. That's keeping Downs' price up as even accepting arbitration wouldn't make Downs' 2011 salary prohibitive for Toronto. Understandably, then, they are asking a significant amount.

A deal can't get done, though, if Toronto doesn't realize that for all of Downs' talents, he's a reliever. You don't trade top prospects for a reliever unless young and extremely good -- like Joakim Soria. Downs' value is suppressed somewhat by saves, but he's still better than some of the closers in the game.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
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