Koji is coming back

Koji Uehara will return to the Orioles' bullpen for the 2011 season.

A Baltimore Sun report tonight said the O's have agreed to a new one-year contract with Uehara that includes a vesting option for the 2012 year. That is an option that kicks in if Uehara meets certain performance clauses during the coming year.

Uehara went 1-2, 2.86 with 13 saves last season. He led AL relievers (minimum 40 innings pitched) in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 11-to-1 and did not walk a batter over his final 34 innings of the year.

His 1.02 walks per nine innings also led AL relievers. He did not allow any of his 13 inherited runners to score and he retired his first batter faced in 37 of 43 games.

His 13 career saves are the seventh-most in major league history for a Japanese born pitcher.

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