Red Sox have had “preliminary talks” with free agent Koji Uehara

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Koji Uehara struggled down the stretch and was shut down by the Red Sox for much of September, but Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the team has had “preliminary talks” about re-signing the free agent reliever.

After being un-hittable for nearly two seasons Uehara went through a stretch of allowing 10 runs in six games, but then he finished the year with three straight scoreless appearances and five strikeouts in three innings.

His overall numbers, while not as ridiculously amazing as 2013, included a 2.52 ERA and 80/8 K/BB ratio in 64 innings, so even at age 40 there figures to be plenty of interest in Uehara on the open market.

Cafardo says the two sides “aren’t close to a deal” yet and presumably Boston has ruled out making the $15.3 million qualifying offer.