Koji Uehara reaches guaranteed 2014 contract option with 55th appearance
|08.14.13 at 7:40 am ET|
Red Sox closer Koji Uehara earned more than a win on Tuesday night. With the 38-year-old’s 55th appearance of the season — a 1 1/3 inning scoreless effort in which he retired all four batters he faced and struck out one — Uehara reached a vesting option that calls for him to return to the Red Sox in 2014 for a $4.25 million deal, with incentives that could push the value of the deal to $5 million based on the number of games he finishes.
The Sox certainly won’t complain about the prospect of another year from the pitcher who has emerged as their closer, as Uehara has been one of the most dominant relievers in baseball this year. He has a 1.32 ERA with 75 strikeouts and just nine walks in 54 1/3 innings. Among American League pitchers with at least 50 innings, Uehara is the league leader in strikeouts per nine innings (12.35), ERA, strikeout-to-walk rate (8.3-to-1), WHIP (0.68), opponents’ batting average (.147) and opponents’ OBP (.190).
“He is more than deserving,” manager John Farrell told reporters of Uehara’s vesting option. “He’s been an outstanding pitcher for us from Day 1. We don’t’ forsee that changing because of the competitor he is and how talented he is and how he prepares. He’s done one hell of a job in the roles that he has filled.”
Latest from Bleacher Report
- November Notes: Prospect rankings and new CBA
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Vazquez belts walk-off home run
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Devers, Hernandez stand out in Dominican winter league
- Podcast Ep. #109: Alex Speier on Ranking the System
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Vazquez debuts, Tavarez, Mars stay hot
- Podcast Ep. #108: 2016 Rankings Special
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Kopech continues to dominate
- October Notes: Fall ball and front office changes
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Moncada sidelined by thumb sprain
- Help Wanted: Web Editors & Social Media Specialists