SARASOTA, Fla. - Former Orioles reliever Koji Uehara is in the house.
Uehara made the trip to Ed Smith Stadium for tonight’s game, joining 10 other pitchers on the Boston Red Sox’s travel roster.
Uehara smiled broadly when he spotted two Baltimore reporters walking toward him as he sat on the top step of the visiting dugout. He called for his interpreter to join him for a short interview.
“I think we have a really good mix of guys and I’m having a lot of fun,” said Uehara, who signed a one-year, $4.25 million contract over the winter.
The Orioles had interest in bringing back Uehara, 37, who went 4-7 with a 3.03 ERA in 98 games before they traded him to the Texas Rangers on July 30, 2011 for pitcher Tommy Hunter and first baseman Chris Davis. However, they weren’t willing to dish out that much money for another one-inning reliever.
“I thought that there would be a possibility,” Uehara said, “but I didn’t especially put a lot of weight on one particular team. I thought every team had a chance.”
Uehara’s family still lives in Baltimore and they have no plans to move.
“My family will be staying in Baltimore, wherever I play,” he said.