Veteran right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, who came to the United States with such fanfare back in 2007, appears to be considering an offer to return to playing in his native Japan, according to a report from the Japan Times. The report indicates that Matsuzaka has “apparently decided” to make his way back to the Nippon Professional Baseball league.
The Fukuoka Softbank Haws are interested in signing Matsuzaka, who is a free agent. Comments from the club’s president, Yoshimitsu Goto, implied that negotiations had taken place and were fairly advanced. “Pitchers who can start are a valuable commodity, so we will do our best to get him,” he said. “We hope to get this done in the coming days.”
Matsuzaka, 34, pitched for the Mets each of the last two years after a promising start to his career with the Red Sox fizzled out. He threw 83 1/3 innings in 2014, his largest tally since 2010, and posted a serviceable 3.89 ERA with 8.4 K/9 against 5.4 BB/9. Interestingly, Matsuzaka logged his best SIERA mark (4.39) since his rookie year.
Of course, “Dice-K” has never quite lived up to his promise after making the move to the majors in the middle of his prime. He had dominated NPB early in his career with the Seibu Lions, but owns a lifetime 4.45 MLB ERA.