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Red Sox agree to contract with Japanese pitcher Okajima


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BOSTON ? (AP) ? The Red Sox agreed to a contract with Japanese pitcher Hideki Okajima.


In the midst of negotiations with potential ace Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Red Sox agreed Thursday to a two-year contract with Okajima, a left-handed reliever.


The 30-year-old Okajima was 2-2 with a career-low 2.14 ERA and four saves in 55 games last season with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of the Pacific League. He was traded to the Fighters in March after 11 seasons with the Central League's Yomiuri Giants, then became a free agent after the season.


In 439 Japanese major league games, he is 34-32 with a 3.36 ERA and 41 saves.


Boston has until Dec. 14 to sign Matsuzaka, the ace of the Seibu Lions and MVP of this year's World Baseball Classic. The Red Sox bid $51,111,111 for the rights to negotiate with Matsuzaka but pay only if they sign him.

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The Red Sox bid $51,111,111



Why so many ones?


To make sure they were higher in case anyone came in at $51 mil.


To quote Bill Simmons (and this is one of his greats):


My favorite part about their $51.1 million bid was that they originally wanted to bid $50 million, then they decided on $50.1 just in case someone else bid $50, then they decided that someone else might go through the same logic, so they upped it to $51.1 million ... and then, nobody else bid more than $42 million. I thought that was hysterical. Listening to them recount the process was like hearing a hung-over buddy describing a 3 a.m. eBay bid from the night before.



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