UPDATE: No word yet on the cause of the failed physical, but the Yankees have released Okajima.
Hideki Okajima, who signed a minor-league contract with the Yankees in December, has failed his physical exam according to David Waldstein of the New York Times.
Waldstein speculates that the Yankees will void his contract and make the 36-year-old reliever a free agent again, although it’s also possible that they could simply alter the terms of the contract and keep him around in the minors.
Okajima pitched his way out of the Red Sox’s plans after three seasons as a top-notch setup man, but was excellent at Triple-A last year with a 2.29 ERA and 49/8 K/BB ratio in 51 innings.
The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.
Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.
Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.
The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.