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Matsuzaka interested in minor league deal with Indians

Matsuzaka interested in minor league deal with Indians
January 17, 2013
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According to a report in a Japanese newspaper, free agent right-handed pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka is considering a minor league offer from the Indians, Marlins and Mets. He could also return to Japan.

Matsuzaka, 32, was limited to 11 starts with the Red Sox last season and went 1-7 with an 8.28 ERA. In 45.2 innings he allowed 58 hits, 11 homers, 20 walks, and had 41 strikeouts. In six seasons with the Red Sox and 117 starts, he owns a career 50-37 record with a 4.52 ERA and has averaged close to a strikeout an inning.

Matsuzaka underwent Tommy John surgery in June of 2011. He came back from the injury in June of last season but was limited the rest of the season. Now over 18 months removed from surgery, he is looking to prove he is 100% and can be an effective pitcher on a big league staff, though will have to prove so on a minor league deal.

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User Comments

January 25, 2013 - 8:43 AM EST
Unlikely you get so many guys on minor league deals (Jurrjens signed a guaranteed deal last night). These guys want to go somewhere where they have a legit shot to play.
January 25, 2013 - 7:47 AM EST
Seriously what harm comes of it?? Kazmir, jurrjens,dice k, and zambrano... i find it hard to believe if all R were signed low, the indians would regret it it ..let alone the chances r high atleast 1 or 2 of them perform well. Then its a winner. 4lottery tickets , i like the odds!!!
January 25, 2013 - 7:42 AM EST
I like the idea roll the dice ,
Joe Werner
January 18, 2013 - 12:35 PM EST
The Japanese baseball schedule is about 30-ish games shorter than that of American baseball. Plus, once he came stateside he was placed on a similar pitch count as everyone else.
January 18, 2013 - 8:25 AM EST
Signing would make for a fun ST of speculation but it is difficult to believe DiceK has much left in the tank. He always threw too many pitches and his age may be 32 but his arm is much older IMO. But that is the enjoyment of a minor league contract for a big name. Gives us something to hope for!
January 17, 2013 - 10:57 PM EST
The Tito Francona effect in full motion. No way would he be on the radar without him.
Joe Werner (
January 17, 2013 - 2:14 PM EST

Matsuzaka would be an incredible buy-low option for the Tribe. Yes, on the surface he was largely ineffective last season, totaling an ERA north of 8.00 to go along with a 1 – 7 record and a -0.1 fWAR total.

However, the underlying skills are still very much present for the right-hander.

His career strikeout average, 8.20 K/9, is just slightly higher than last season’s total, 8.08 K/9. And similar with his walk rate, which, actually, was a touch better last year (3.94 BB/9 vs. 4.32 BB/9). His fastball velocity (90.9 mph) was only down less than one mile-per-hour from his career norms as well.

The reason why he struggled is fairly simple, really.
Bad luck. A tremendous amount of bad luck, actually.

His homerun rate (2.17 HR/9), homerun per fly ball (17.5%), batting average on balls in play (.336) and strand rate (57.9%) are all ridiculously out of whack from not only his typical numbers but from any player.

Matsuzaka is going to show a tremendous amount of improvement next year, barring any injury of course. And this is going to come from regression alone.

Finally, I know I’m going to be HIGHLY criticized for what I’m about to say. But I would be willing to bet that the difference in production from Brett Myers and Diasuke Matsuzaka would be a lot smaller than a lot of people would think. And, truthfully, it could be negligible.
January 17, 2013 - 1:18 PM EST
The should aggressively pursue Matsuzaka on a minor league deal with some decent incentives and potentially an opt out date in he isn't in the bigs by June.
Matsuzaka would be a low risk move, and if he pays off good, if doesn'
January 17, 2013 - 10:37 AM EST
I agree in that Matsuzaka likely will not pan out, though that is the whole point of minor league deals with injured or rehabbing guys. I think if he signs there is but a small chance he helps and probably would not be an option until late May or June after a few Triple-A starts. Just depth.....a very small percentage of minor league signings end up a big part of a 25-man roster.
brett myers's girlfriend
January 17, 2013 - 10:32 AM EST
just a joke readers, just a joke... i highly doubt dice K would be effective and come back to pitch in the majors. in fact if anything he would be a huge distraction to other minor leaguers due to the large amount of japanese media that im sure will follow him. but yes, i doubt it would cost the indians much and surely could have low risk and high reward. just judging from his background, its likely his career is over. but a minor league deal wouldnt hurt anything.
had no idea people thought the previous post was serious...
January 17, 2013 - 10:10 AM EST
To Brett Myers. girlfriend " guy who know nothing so uses a fake name to not embarrass himself " Its a minor league deal meaning low risk/high reward. To me this makes perfect sense. Worst case scenario he signs comes to camp and is awful and the Indians cut him. Cost was minimal and we still have the same rotation. Most likely he signs is an average mlb starter and eats innings better than a Corey kluber or David huff would. Also it gives carrasco and Bauer a few more month to work on their stuff in aaa before coming up to the bigs. Dice-K was a solid pitcher before injuries and he's 18 months removed from Tommy John surgery which is the time most pitcher return back to form or sometimes even stronger than they were before the surgery. I hope we sign him he can't be worse than what we have and he has the chance to be our number 2 or 3 starter if back to full strength.
January 17, 2013 - 10:08 AM EST
I have no problem signing any player to a minor league deal. There is no guarantee and club loses no money if they cut them. Much different from a Hafner ($13M) and Sizemore signing ($5M).
January 17, 2013 - 10:05 AM EST
I think he's better than Ubaldo. As a fill-in until our SP is upgraded via trades or development, sure.
brett myers' girlfriend
January 17, 2013 - 10:01 AM EST
this would be a great signing... Dice K would totally fill the void of oft injured players like grady sizemore and travis hafner who sign contracts and then never put on a uniform.
we need to get this deal done!

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