Free agent righty Daisuke Matsuzaka “likes the idea of possibly restarting in San Diego”


From Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Daisuke Matsuzaka, whose once promising U.S. career was sidetracked by elbow reconstruction surgery in 2011, has told members of the Japanese media that he likes the idea of possibly restarting in San Diego. It seems he liked the city and the ballpark when he pitched at Petco Park in the first World Baseball Classic.

Matsuzaka posted a wretched 8.28 ERA in 45 2/3 innings this summer after returning from Tommy John surgery and really hasn’t been an effective major league starter since the 2008 season. But he should come cheap, and the Padres are usually open to considering any potential low-cost, low-risk free agent signing.

The 32-year-old native of Tokyo went 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA in that first World Baseball Classic, which was won by Team Japan. The semifinals and finals were played at San Diego’s pitcher-friendly stadium.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.