Friday, October 31, 2014
Red Sox Sign Closer Koji Uehara to a 2-Year Deal Worth $18 Million
If you are a Red Sox fan (and why else would you be reading this?), I'm betting that you love closer Koji Uehara. Still, I have to admit that I was surprised that Boston's first move of this extremely vital offseason was signing the 39-year-old with an injury history to a two-year deal worth $18 million. I'm not that worried that last season he completely went off a cliff since the same could be said for many of his teammates and the club in general.
Despite getting shelled time after time before mercifully being taken out of the closer's role, he managed to post a 2.52 ERA with 0.92 WHIP, he was 6-5 with 26 saves, one hold and five blown saves. In 64.1 innings, he allowed 18 earned runs, 51 hits including 10 homers with 80 strikeouts and eight walks.
He doesn't rely on power at all, just pinpoint control and pitching acumen so turning 40 next April should not be as scary as it would be for most other relievers. For me, the main point of this deal is Boston signaling that they really don't have a better option in terms of a young guy coming up that could close or they haven't identified a free agent that they'd want to fill that most important role.
Get plenty of rest this winter Koji because you are going to super busy next season (and hopefully in 2016 too).