Indians release Daisuke Matsuzaka from minor league deal
In an unexpected move, the Cleveland Indians announced today that they have released right-handed starter Daisuke Matsuzaka from his minor league contract. This is the release that was sent out tonight at 8:15:
The Indians today released RHP DIASUKE MATSUZAKA from his Minor League contract that was signed on February 13th.Matsuzaka, 32, did not record a decision in four spring outings this year (8.0IP, 10H, 2R/ER, 1BB, 3K), the last of which came on March 11.There will be no further comment from the organization this evening on this transaction.
Matsuzaka, the 32-year old former starter who pitched for Terry Francona in Boston, was believed to have accepted Francona's decision to send him to Triple A Columbus, but clearly something has changed at some point over the weekend. It was clear in the press release that the Indians weren't going to be forthcoming with information on Sunday night, but it's believed that general manager Chris Antonetti is simply re-working his contract. According to Paul Hoynes from the Plain Dealer, this move is simply a way for the Indians to avoid a $100,000 retention bonus that would have gone to Matsuzaka on Wednesday. Why the hurler would renegotiate with a team that cost him a grand is beyond me, but that appears to be the case. Here are the tweets directly from Hoynes himself:
#Indians release Dice-K from current contract. It's believed they're renegotiating a new one with him to keep him in organization.— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) March 25, 2013
Hoynes sent out a second tweet right after, explaining his thoughts further:
By releasing Dice-K now, #Indians don't have to pay him $100,000 retention bonus Tues, while renegotiating his deal.— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) March 25, 2013
Terry Francona and Chris Antonetti were planning on meeting on Sunday night to discuss and finalize roster moves heading into the final week of spring training. It's unknown whether or not this was part of that conversation or not. Either way, the mystery will likely clear itself out over the next day or two when the Indians final roster moves are announced. Keep up-to-date with all the Indians' news right here at IBI.
Jim is currently the senior editor and Columnist, as well as the host of IBI's weekly online radio shows, Smoke Signals and Cleveland Sports Insiders. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IBI, or contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.