A's sign reliever Okajima

Former All-Star Hideki Okajima will attempt to return to the major leagues with the Oakland Athletics, who signed the Japanese reliever to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to spring training on Tuesday.

Okajima spent five seasons with the Boston Red Sox from 2007-11 and was an integral part of that team's run to the World Series title during his debut campaign in the majors. The left-hander went 3-2 with a 2.22 earned run average and five saves over 66 appearances that year, earning a spot on the American League All-Star squad for his efforts.

The 37-year-old compiled a 17-8 record with a 3.11 ERA over 261 games with the Red Sox, but was released in May of 2011 after struggling in seven outings that year. He signed a minor league deal with the New York Yankees in January of 2012, but failed to make the club in spring training and returned to his native Japan to join the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.

Okajima also pitched 12 seasons in the Japanese League from 1995-2006 before his tenure with the Red Sox.