Wednesday, Dec 07, 2016
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Indians release Japanese pitcher Matsuzaka

Team signed him as free agent this winter

Indians-Matsuzaka-Baseball

Daisuke Matsuzaka pitches for the Cleveland Indians during spring training in Arizona.

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CLEVELAND  — The Indians have released Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka. He is now a free agent.

The right-hander spent the entire season at Triple-A Columbus, where he went 5-8 with a 3.92 ERA in 19 starts for the Clippers. The Indians had signed him to a minor-league deal in February, but Matsuzaka did not make the 40-man roster and was released before re-signing with Cleveland.

The Indians were intrigued by the 32-year-old, who helped the Boston Red Sox win a World Series title in 2007. But since 2008, Matsuzaka has been slowed by elbow issues and he underwent Tommy John surgery two years ago. His velocity was noticeably down at spring training, and he was beaten out for the fifth spot in Cleveland’s rotation.

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