Okajima is getting 1.75 million from the Red Sox and that seems a little high. I see little promise in a man who suffered a major back injury last season and has had a depleting velocity every year in the major leagues. Okajima isn't a spring chicken either at the age of 35.I personally see meager promise of a return to form. Here, I will list in my opinion some better options the Red Sox could have picked to round out our bullpen from the left side.Joe Beimel: The guy pitched in Colorado and still had an ERA of 3.40. To speak of consistency he hasn't posted an ERA above 4.00 in a full season of work since 2003. He signed for 800K last year on a 1 year deal. Maybe the Red Sox could have drawn him in for less the Okajima and not have to had given him a 550k incentive.
Randy Flores: A nether guy who had a great 2010 with Rockies before being traded to the Twins mid-season. A guy who never showed promise till last year but would come at a much cheaper price. He only made 650k, last year and would be a low risk. He would leave room to add a nether lefty in the payroll baring he had a relapse of what went down in Minnesota
J.C. Romero: The guy took 1.35 million to re-sign after making 4.00 million last year. The low price may have been because he loves Philly. However, I'm sure the Sox could have swayed him to wear a Red Sox uniform for a little higher price. The guy has a lot more upside in this stage of his career then Okajima. Although, he did battle with injuries he did return to form well. The 2009 failed drug test was on a GNC product by the way.
Ron Mahay: My favorite on the list. He came off of a good season last year after two down seasons in KC. He is 39 and I'm sure isn't looking to lock up a multi-year contract. With him still being left on the market, he could have probably came cheaper and had a greater chance of doing the sole job of shutting down lefties well.
All these players I feel would have not looked to lock a multi-year deal and would have performed for the same contract or less then the one Okajima took. I just don't see a tremendous upside in Hideki Okajima. Rip me a new one, tell me your opinion.