4:19pm: Matsuzaka would earn $1.5MM if he lands in the big leagues, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
The 33-year-old Matsuzaka, a client of Relativity Baseball, started seven games down the strech for the Mets in 2013, posting a 4.42 ERA with 7.7 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 but a very low 28.3 percent ground-ball rate in 38 2/3 innings of work. Despite his extreme fly-ball tendencies, Matsuzaka managed to allow just four homers in those 38 2/3 frames (0.9 HR/9).
Matsuzaka came to the Mets after being granted his release from Cleveland's Triple-A affiliate. Though he posted a solid 3.92 ERA with 95 strikeouts against just 39 walks in 103 1/3 minor league innings for the Indians, Cleveland didn't have room in its rotation for him and allowed him to explore opportunities elsewhere.
The Red Sox originally signed Matsuzaka to a six-year, $52MM contract after winning exclusive negotiation rights by submitting a $51.11MM posting fee to Nippon Professional Baseball's Seibu Lions. Matsuzaka was regarded as the game's top prospect by Baseball America prior to his arrival. He didn't live up to those expectations, though he did enjoy a pair of solid seasons in Boston before injuries and ineffectiveness stalled his career. Matsuzaka underwent Tommy John surgery midway through the 2011 season but is fully recovered from that procedure.
Matsuzaka figures to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation behind Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and Zack Wheeler. He'll likely face competition from the likes of John Lannan, Jenrry Mejia, Jacob deGrom and Rafael Montero in Spring Training.