Dice-K is "very much" a part of the Red Sox' plans

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We heard yesterday that the Mariners would be interested in Daisuke Matsuzaka if he were on the market. They can forget it though, because Theo Epstein is pleased with him:

“To look where we were with him in March, and where we are now, I think we feel a lot better about it now. Along the way there’s been consistent velocity that we hadn’t seen the
last couple years, and some improvement in the secondary stuff, even as
recently as his last couple starts, so again more positive signs to take
into the winter.”

Another, unnamed Sox source tells WEEI’s Alex Speier that Dice-K is “very much” part of the Sox’ plans going forward.

So M’s fans: you’re just going to have to lose any fantasies you harbored about Matsuzaka bringing his particular brand of excitement to Safeco.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.