The New York Yankees have signed free agent pitcher Hideki Okajima to a minor league contract, the team announced on Wednesday. The deal includes an invite to Yankees spring training, where Okajima will have the chance to compete for a roster spot with the big league club.
Once one of the MLB's better set-up men, Okajima struggled through a 2011 season during which he was taken off the Red Sox's 40-man roster. The 36 year-old left-hander pitched just 8.1 innings with the Red Sox while spending most of the season in Triple-A Pawtucket. With Boston, he was 1-0 with a 4.32 ERA. He was 8-1 with a 2.29 ERA in Pawtucket.
Okajima was named an All-Star during his debut 2007 season, when he was 3-2 with a 2.22 ERA, but his production has declined in subsequent years.