Hideki Okajima has been a very solid reliever for the Boston Red Sox, not just this past season but also in 2007 and 2008. In 2009, Okajima had a 6-0 record with a 3.39 ERA in 61 innings pitched.
Okajima was scheduled to go to arbitration after the 2009 season. However, he and the Red Sox struck a 1-year deal worth $2.75 million. There are some other bonuses stitched into the contract:
50 appearances – $50,000
55 appearances – $50,000
60 appearances – $50,000
65 appearances – $50,000
70 appearances – $50,000
If Okajima can step up to pitch at least 70 times this season, he will bring home $3 million.
Relief pitcher George Sherrill agreed to a 1-year, $2.75 million contract with the Orioles in 2009. Sherrill was scheduled for arbitration that year. In the season prior to his arbitration hearing, Sherrill had a 3-5 record with a 4.72 ERA in 53 innings pitched.
Okajima had better numbers than Sherrill which could have meant that an arbitration victory by Okajima this year would have been more expensive for the Red Sox.