It didn’t take much for the Red Sox to woo reliever Koji Uehara. “I heard that John Farrell, when he was managing Toronto, he was giving me credit for what I had done,” Uehara said yesterday through translator Masai Takahashi. “I felt that this team wanted me more than other teams. I felt like I was necessary.” And so, Uehara signed a one-year, $4.25 million contract in December to join a deep and talented Red Sox bullpen. Based on his track record over the past three seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers, the 37-year-old right-hander will be used as a late-inning reliever, likely in a set-up role for closer Joel Hanrahan. Uehara has been remarkably steady and underrated since coming to the majors from Japan in 2009, and especially since moving to the bullpen with the Orioles in 2010. In 145 relief appearances, he has a 2.36 ERA, 183 strikeouts and only 17 walks in 145 innings. But while a small throng of Japanese media greeted Uehara upon his arrival in camp yesterday, it was a fraction of the attention paid to countryman Daisuke Matsuzaka throughout most of his six-year Red Sox career. Matsuzaka, who agreed yesterday to a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians, signed a $52 million contract with the Sox before the 2006 season.
Farrell praise snares Uehara
Boston Herald | Feb 11