Blue Jays sign Tomo Ohka to minor league deal


Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like Tomo Ohka is going to be back with the Toronto Blue Jays organization.

According to Shi Davidi, the 37-year-old Japanese right-handed pitcher has verbally agreed to a minor league contract with the Blue Jays and could start the season playing for the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Ohka was a free agent signing with the Blue Jays in 2007 but struggled in 56 innings with a 5.79 ERA and 1.607 WHIP, which led to his release that June. He had a short stint with the Cleveland Indians in 2009 before he returned to Japan to pitch for the Yokohama Bay Stars.

The cool thing about Ohka is that he’s attempting his comeback as a knuckleball pitcher, which Carson Cistulli picked up at Not Graphs back in November. He had a few solid seasons with the Montreal Expos back in the early 2000’s so it will be interesting to see if he can make the transition to a MLB knuckleballer.

Sure it’s a long shot that he would ever crack the Toronto Blue Jays MLB roster but according to MLB Trade Rumors the Baltimore Orioles were also interested so if he does turn out to be a diamond in the rough it’s better with the Blue Jays than elsewhere in the AL East.

That’s not to say that I’m expecting much, or anything, from Ohka but Fisher Cats games might have just gotten a little bit more interesting if the Ohka deal becomes official.