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Declarmen Joins Okajima With Yankees

Manny Delcarmen (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The legacy of any player to spend time in the Red Sox organization is established when his time at the organization ends and he moves on in his career. The exception to this is former Sox players whose paths lead them to the rival Yankees. This scenario has popped up multiple times this offseason, as both Manny Delcarmen and Hideki Okajima have agreed to minor league deals with New York over the past couple months.

Delcarmen and Okajima in Boston

Delcarmen was a member of the Sox bullpen from 2005-2010 when he was traded to the Colorado Rockies. He grew up in the Boston area and was fun to watch for the first few years of his time with the Red Sox, including throwing 74.1 innings in the 2008 season while posting a solid 3.27 ERA. However as time passed, he became notably less effective, only appearing in 9 more Major League games after his trade to the Rockies.

Okajima started his big league career in 2007 when he burst onto the scene as a rookie out of Japan, making the All-Star Game via the final vote and being a key contributor in the bullpen for the Red Sox 2007 World Series Championship. He quietly lived in the shadow of Daisuke Matsuzaka, but made an impact in the game as he became one of the best left-handed relievers in the game in his first few years. However slowly the league started to figure out his awkward delivery and his ERA rose to 4.50 in 2010. He played in just 7 games last year after contract disputes with Boston and ended up signing with New York.

Yankees Bullpen

While Delcarmen and Okajima give little reason to believe the New York Yankees bullpen is any better, it is noticeable that they have a large amount of depth to their roster. With tremendous set up men like David Robertson and Rafael Soriano backing up Mariano Rivera, these two small additions show how deep the Yankees could be in 2012 if their bullpen is hurt by injuries as they were in 2011 with both Soriano, Joba Chamberlain, and Pedro Feliciano. Their additions of Hiroki Kuroda and Michael Pineda only further their strength in pitching, something usually lacking with typical New York teams. Either way, it should be interesting to see if Delcarmen or Okajima can make the club and if the Sox will get a crack at their old teammates.

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