Boston’s shrewd signing of Koji Uehara this past offseason has proven to be one of the best moves of the winter, based on the performance the team has received for a modest cost. It would seem that there might be more to the deal than we initially though, however, as a vesting option within the contract has been revealed. The option is likely to vest with his next appearance, which could come as early as tomorrow when the team begins a three game series in Toronto.
Uehara’s initial deal was believed to be a one year contract, worth $4.25 Million. Incentives for games finished have since pushed that total above $4.5 Million. WEEI.com’s Alex Speier has learned from sources that the option for 2014 should be worth $4.25 Million, but also contains various incentives for games finished – similar to Uehara’s deal this season – that could increase that overall value closer to $5 Million.
The 38 year old right-hander holds a 1.35 ERA and 0.694 WHIP in 53.1 IP on the year, stepping up big at the back of the Boston bullpen when the team lost Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey to injury. He’s saved 12 games and has been striking out a career best 12.5 K/9. He’s gone from being a “smart and affordable pickup” to arguably one of the best moves the team made all winter. Now he might be under team control for another year at an affordable rate.