GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Daisuke Matsuzaka will not make the Cleveland Indians’ opening-day roster but plans to remain with Cleveland.
Trying to make a comeback after pitching in just 11 games last season with Boston following elbow reconstruction surgery, Matsuzaka may accept an offer to stay in the club’s minor league camp. The 32-year-old Japanese right-hander was trying to win a spot in Cleveland’s rotation.
Indians general manager Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona met with Dice-K and reliever Matt Capps on Monday and told both they will not break camp with the club.
“We would like to keep both guys in the organization,” Antonetti said. “Neither guy was set to make the opening day roster. We thought we would inform them now and let them know we want to keep them in camp to help them get back to full strength. If and when they do we think they both can help us.
Matsuzaka expressed an interest in staying with Cleveland. He will be paid $18,000 a month if he stays in the organization at the minor league level. Details will need to be worked out with Matsuzaka’s agent, Scott Boras.
“This is the first time, I’ve been in this situation. I did not know what to expect,” Matsuzaka said through his interpreter. “The teammates have been great; the staff has been great, taking care of me and helping me get better. I really appreciate what the organization has done for me.”
Capps hasn’t decided whether he’ll stay in camp, Antonetti said. Capps began last season as Minnesota’s closer but shoulder problems limited him to 30 games.
“We should have more information in the next day or two,” Antonetti said.
The Indians have until March 26 before Matsuzaka would be owed a $100,000 payment under baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.