Koji Uehara, Red Sox haven't talked contract extension

Rob Bradford
July 23, 2014 - 4:14 pm

TORONTO -- Normally news that there hasn't been any negotiations between a 39-year-old relief pitcher in the final year of his contract might not be worth mentioning. But Koji Uehara isn't your ordinary 39-year-old relief pitcher. Uehara told WEEI.com prior to the Red Sox' game against the Blue Jays on Wednesday night that his representation (SFX) has not spoken with the Sox about an extension beyond the 2014 season. "So far, there have been no talks," Uehara said through translator C.J. Matsumoto. "I'll leave it all up to my agent, but right now I haven't heard anything." There is some thought that despite Uehara's age, the Red Sox might consider offering the pitcher a qualifying offer in the coming offseason (estimated to be around $15 million for one year). If such a strategy was employed by the Sox, Uehara undoubtedly would accept the offer, guaranteeing the Red Sox his services for another season. The more likely scenario would be to extend the reliever a deal that either guarantees a second year or builds in a vesting option for a second season. Uehara is making $4.25 million for the '14 season, the highest annual income of his six-year major league career. Since becoming the Red Sox closer on June 26, 2013, Uehara has saved 40 of 44 regular-season games, striking out 118 and walking just eight. His ERA over that span is 1.00 with a batting average against of .139.