Daisuke Matsuzaka spent seven years playing professional ball in Japan before inking a six-year, $52 million contract with the Red Sox in February of 2007. He owns a 4.00 ERA, a 1.40 WHIP and a 37-21 record over his first three major league seasons and is apparently loving every minute of his time in the states.
Dice-K told Rob Bradford of Boston-based WEEI.com Tuesday that he wants to stick around for another 10 MLB seasons.
“I think both personally and from a family standpoint we’re all enjoying
our lives over here in the U.S., and if at all possible I would like to
play over here as long as I can,” Matsuzaka said through translator Masa Hoshino. “I guess in the very least I hope that I can play for
at least another 10 years here in the U.S. Yeah, 10 years is a long
time and it’s tough to imagine what it’s going to be like that far out,
but at the same time when I’m 40, or older than 40, I want to still be
able to pitch.”
Matsuzaka will turn 30 later this season and has already struggled with multiple injuries, but it’s not all that uncommon for baseball careers to extend into age 40. He’s under Red Sox control for the next three seasons, so we can say for certain he’ll be state-side through at least 2012.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.
According to an official team announcement, the Nationals have acquired catcher Derek Norris from the Padres in exchange for right-hander Pedro Avila.
Norris, 27, batted a career-low .186/.225/.328 in 458 PA with the Padres in 2016. He hit career highs with 14 home runs and nine stolen bases, but his dismal production rate through the second half of the season spelled the end of his time in a starting role in San Diego. Norris’ departure from the Padres also confirms 24-year-old Austin Hedges‘ spot on the roster, as reported by MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell:
Heading to San Diego is 19-year-old right-handed starter Pedro Avila, who was acquired by the Nationals as an international free agent in 2014. The 19-year-old spent his first season in Single-A Hagerstown and went 7-7 with a 3.48 ERA and 2.42 K/BB rate in 93 innings.