Daisuke Matsuzaka is now talking with the Mets, Indians and Marlins, though other teams have expressed interest in signing him this winter, according to Hochi Shimbun.
9:57 am: Matsuzaka does not have an offer for a minor league contract from the Mets (Carig, Newsday).
9:20 am: A Mets insider disputed the report, “saying he does not believe the organization has spoken with Matsuzaka,” ESPN New York later reported.
6:44 am: Naturally, Matsuzaka said he would prefer to sign a big-league contract with incentives. However, it is also likely he ends up signing a minor-league deal. He could also choose to return and pitch in Japan.
According to Matsuzaka, he wanted to return to the Red Sox, but that no longer seems possible.
Matsuzaka struggled after returning from Tommy John surgery in 2012, going a 1-7 with an 8.28 ERA and 1.71 WHIP in 11 starts for the Red Sox.
He told the Japanese newspaper that his elbow is “fine,” and he will be ready for Spring Training.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
I’m always concerned when a player’s former team has no interest in bringing him back, especially when we’re talking about low-risk, minor-league deals. But, his relationship and history in Boston is so deep and complex, they’re decision may have nothing to do with Matsuzaka’s ability. Who knows?
That said, I like the idea of the Mets signing Dice-K to a minor-league deal, assuming he’ll accept it. The buzz around Matsuzaka is that he wanted to either pitch in San Diego or Japan. However, after pitching in Boston in the A.L. East, he might benefit from moving to a pitcher’s park in the National League. He’s had a series of bizarre, random injuries. If he’s healthy, he’s intriguing, plus he’d add a little buzz to this team, which they’re clearly missing… among other things.