Hideki Okajima clears waivers, accepts assignment to Triple-A

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Hideki Okajima began the season at Triple-A, got called up to rejoin the Red Sox’s bullpen in mid-April, was designated for assignment last week, and now has accepted an assignment back to Triple-A after passing through waivers unclaimed.

And all that has happened after he re-signed with the Red Sox this offseason for $1.75 million.

That contract likely explains why Okajima cleared waivers, although certainly he’s also pitched poorly enough to scare teams off at a fraction of the cost.

Okajima finished strong last season after a terrible first half and has allowed opponents to bat just .233 with a .643 OPS in 8.1 innings so far this season, but that comes with a 6/5 K/BB ratio and he has a 4.47 ERA in 54 innings dating back to last year.

He still looks capable of being a useful middle reliever, but apparently that isn’t worth $1 million to anyone.